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Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Deep Impact in trouble: last heard from August 8

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

2013/09/04 01:10 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

Heads up: the Deep Impact encounter is coming up!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/06/28 10:56 CDT

Less than a week remains before the Deep Impact mission is set to meet its fate at Tempel 1. A mission like this has been a dream for planetary scientists for a long time.

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