Emily Lakdawalla • Nov 02, 2011
Deep Impact goes for the deep sky
I love it when old spacecraft get pushed to perform feats that weren't part of their original missions. Today, the EPOXI mission -- which (then named Deep Impact) originally flew past Tempel 1, then used one out-of-focus camera to study extrasolar planets, then was retargeted to comet Hartley 2 last year -- posted some neat deep-sky images taken as a part of an operational training exercise. Deep Impact is capable of a second extended mission, but what it is hasn't been decided yet. Clearly, there are a lot of things that this spacecraft is capable of doing!
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