Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



A Quick Snap Shot Of Comet Science From Deep Space

Unlike D1's flyby of the asteroid Braille in August 1999, SpaceDaily has been assured that despite the delay in releasing the images, they are "sharp and in focus", and that there are about 30 image in all.

NASA TV Press Conference Coverage
  • Server 1   -  Server 2
  • Server 3   -  Audio Only
  • by Marc Rayman
    Pasadena - September 23, 2001
    Deep Space 1 plunged into the heart of comet Borrelly and has lived to tell every detail of it! The amazing little spacecraft was fantastically successful in its encounter with the mysterious comet on September 22. Many recent mission logs have described why this probably would not work, but it did work, and it worked far far better than expected.

    In fact, everything went so well on encounter day that my biggest concern was the seismic risk to Southern California when thunderous applause erupted in mission control upon the return of the images! When we saw them, the room was just filled with almost unbridled elation.

    We had low expectations, so the enormity of the success was that much more wonderful. The tremendous excitement stems from being the very first humans ever to glimpse the secrets that this comet has held since the birth of the solar system.

    In addition, after years of nursing this aged and wounded bird along -- a spacecraft not designed to explore comets, a probe that exceeded its objectives more than 2 years ago -- after struggling to keep it going through long nights and stressful days, to see it perform its remarkably complex and risky assignment so well was nothing short of incredible. I honestly did not think it was up to the task. In fact, even though we had strong indications during the encounter that it was collecting the data we wanted, I tried to keep everyone from getting too excited. I felt we had to accomplish two key tasks: 1) get the science data from the spacecraft to Earth, and 2) persuade ourselves we weren't dreaming. We've now done both!

    The images and other data we collected from comet Borrelly are going to make great contributions to scientists' efforts to learn more about these intriguing members of the solar system family. We're going to gain a great deal of completely new and absolutely fascinating insights into comets and perhaps into the origin and evolution of Earth.

    This log is short because your correspondent is thoroughly exhausted. The last few logs describe what we hoped to accomplish, and one of the great surprises of the day is that we achieved everything we set out to. JPL will be releasing pictures and other information through its Media Relations Office in the coming days.

    There is a small chance there will be a new log later this week. More likely however, the next one will be early in November. Your loyal correspondent is scheduled to attend an international conference on space exploration in just a few days.

    Following that will be some time to return to Earth after this cosmic high, and then the logs will resume with a more thorough description of this truly historic event. You will read about the exciting science, the challenging engineering, and the spectacular human drama that collectively add up to a truly astonishing success story.

    And you will read about the end of the Deep Space 1 Extended Mission and its brief follow-on, which I like to call the Deep Space 1 Hyperextended Mission. So there's more to come in the continuing exciting adventures of Deep Space 1, one of humankind's most wonderful ambassadors to the cosmos.

    Deep Space 1 is now 1.6 million kilometers, or 1 million miles, past comet Borrelly, and is nearly 1.5 times as far from Earth as the Sun is and 575 times as far as the moon. At this distance of 220 million kilometers, or 137 million miles, radio signals, traveling at the universal limit of the speed of light, take 24 and a half minutes to make the round trip.

    Marc Rayman is the project manager for the Deep Space 1 program

    Related Links
    DS1 Technical Papers
    SpaceDaily
    Search SpaceDaily
    Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express
     DS1 Snaps Comet Borrelly During Distant Flyby
    Pasadena - Sept. 22 2001
    Deep Space 1 mission manager Marc Rayman told SpaceDaily this evening, "We did it!". "We have returned some black and white images, some infrared spectra, and some ion and electron data. Although the entire encounter was pre-sequenced, we did have to do some critical commanding this morning. It -- and everything else for that matter -- went perfectly!" At 3:30pm PDT - (2230 Universal time) NASA's Deep Space 1 probe made its closest orbital intersection within 2000 km an obscure comet called Borrelly. A small camera along with other on board instrument were programmed to acquire data at different times during the encounter. JPL says images will be released Monday. But don't be surprised if that gets changed to Sunday.




    Thanks for being here;
    We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

    With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

    Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

    If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

    SpaceDaily Contributor
    $5 Billed Once


    credit card or paypal
    SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
    $5 Billed Monthly


    paypal only






    Memory Foam Mattress Review
    Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
    XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








    The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.