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Deep Impact

Deep Impact is an ongoing NASA space probe. It was launched on


January 12th 2005. It was designed to study the composition of the
interior of comet 9P/Temple. To study the interior it collided a section
of the space craft with the comet.

The space craft was made up of 2 sections, a 370 kg copper core


“smart impactor” and the fly by section. The fly by section is 3.2 m
long by 1.7 m wide by 2.3 m high.

The primary task was completed on July 4th 2005. The photographs taken of the impact
showed the comet to be dustier and less icy than was expected. The probe was unable to
obtain photographs of the impact crater because of the unexpectedly large amoutns of
dust.

After the primary mission, Deep Impact flew by Earth on December 31st 2007 on an
extended mission called EPOXI. This mission has the dual purpose of studing extra-solar
planets and the comet hartley 2.

Recently NASA released a video made by Deep Impact that shows how the Earth / Moon
system might be viewed by an alien civilization. The video was made from 31 million
miles away. It was filmed in two diferent light wave lenths. One version was red-green-
blue and the other version was infrared-green-blue. The video was a series of shots taken
at 15 minute intervals. It showed the Moon transiting the Earth.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Impact_(space_mission)
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/epoxi_transit.html