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Deep Impact in trouble: last heard from August 8

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

04-09-2013 13:10 CDT

Topics: mission status, Deep Impact

A terse update on the status of the aging Deep Impact spacecraft was posted on the mission website this morning:

We have not received any of our expected observations of comet ISON due to a spacecraft problem. Communication with the spacecraft was lost some time between August 11 and August 14 (we only talk to the spacecraft about once per week). The last communication was on August 8. After considerable effort, the team on August 30 determined the cause of the problem. The team is now trying to determine how best to try to recover communication.

As long as controllers are communicating with a spacecraft, there is hope. When they are not in communication with a spacecraft, that's pretty scary. Good luck to the Deep Impact team on recovering the spacecraft for a future comet or asteroid encounter. It's a great little mission.

Tip of the hat to Amy Mainzer.

Deep Impact

NASA / JPL

Deep Impact

Notes from the morning-after press conference

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/07/04 10:55 CDT

Here in Von Karman auditorium at JPL, as they get ready for the press conference, they are playing "Rock Around the Clock," by Bill Haley and His Comets. Very appropriate! The press panel is mostly familiar: Andy Danztler, Rick Grammier, Shyam Bhaskaran, Mike A'Hearn, and Pete Schultz.

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Views of Tempel 1

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/07/04 10:47 CDT

It looks like the European Space Agency was busy overnight -- lots of great Earth- and space- based images of the impact have been appearing on various websites.

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Deep Impact Comet Crash Produces Great Big Comet Flash

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/07/04 02:08 CDT

The Deep Impact mission seems to have produced an impact crash beyond the expectations, but not the hopes, of the science team.

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Deep Impact live blog

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/07/04 01:45 CDT

Live blog from the press room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as Deep Impact's Impactor meets its fate at the comet....

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A couple of notes on the Deep Impact images

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/07/03 12:29 CDT

After the press conference I asked Mike A'Hearn a couple of questions about the raw images we're seeing online.

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Quotes from Deep Impact "Pre-Impact Update" press conference at JPL

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/07/03 12:09 CDT

The panel consists of: Andy Danztler, Solar System Division Director at NASA HQ; Rick Grammier, Deep Impact Project Manager, JPL; Jennifer Rocca, Deep Impact Systems Engineer, JPL; and Mike A'Hearn, Principal Investigator, University of Maryland.

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The Deep Impactor is safely on its way!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/07/03 08:49 CDT

I woke this morning to find a press release in my Inbox that said: "One hundred and seventy-one days into its 172-day journey to comet Tempel 1, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft successfully released its impactor at 11:07 p.m. Saturday, Pacific Daylight Time," or 06:07 UTC.

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Deep Impact On Course for Comet Crash; Mission Is Already Producing Science Returns

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/07/01 04:42 CDT

NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft is set for its date with Comet Tempel 1. "We are going to hit a bullet with another bullet while watching from a third bullet," said Charles Elachi, the head of JPL.

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Deep Impact encounter minus 3 days

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/07/01 11:45 CDT

OK, I'm in...I arrived at an unusually empty Jet Propulsion Laboratory this morning in advance of the first Deep Impact encounter press conference.

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Changes to the Deep Impact encounter timeline

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/06/30 05:13 CDT

A reader has pointed out that JPL has changed their online press kit for Deep Impact, which was my primary source material for the encounter timeline.

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