Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Images of Human-Made Crater on Comet

Remember Deep Impact? This was a mission to deliberately put a piece of spacecraft smack dab in from of comet Tempel 1 in 2005. Where upon it was studied and recorded. Deep Impact was in such great shape that it was re-purposed and re-missioned with the name Stardust NExT. The spacecraft was tasked to return once again to Tempel 1 and document the man made crater that was created on the previous visit. The spacecraft made its closest approach to comet Tempel 1 on Monday, Feb. 14 2011 at a distance of approximately 111 miles. Stardust took 72 high-resolution images of the comet. The photos showed the crater with a central cone, which was a bit unexpected.

One of the real pay days for this series of missions is the low cost. Instead of sending out several robotic craft, by re-purposing Deep Impact saved NASA some serious money!

Check out the Science Digest article here

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