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Deep Impact Undergoing Final Preparations For Dec 30 Launch

Deep Impact (pictured in illustration) will be ready to begin preparation for fueling on Dec. 6 and is scheduled to be completed on Dec. 9.
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) Nov 12, 2004
NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft arrived in Florida on Oct. 23 to begin final preparations for launch on Dec. 30. The spacecraft was shipped from Ball Aerospace & Technologies in Boulder, Colo., to the Astrotech Space Operations facility located near the Kennedy Space Center.

Deep Impact was removed from its shipping container and is now undergoing its Functional and Mission Readiness testing, scheduled for completion on November 23

These tests involve the entire spacecraft flight system (including the flyby and impactor, associated science instruments and the spacecraft's basic subsystems), along with loading updated flight software.

The high gain antenna used for spacecraft communications will be installed on Nov. 29. The solar array will then be stowed and an illumination test performed as a final check of its performance on Nov. 30.

Deep Impact will then be ready to begin preparation for fueling on Dec. 6 and is scheduled to be completed on Dec. 9.

The stacking of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle on Pad 17-B will begin on Nov. 22 with the hoisting of the first stage into the launcher. Hoisting of the nine strap-on solid rocket boosters, in sets of three, is scheduled for Nov. 23, Nov. 29, and Dec. 1. The second stage will be hoisted into position atop the first stage on Dec. 3.

The overall Deep Impact mission management for this Discovery class program is conducted by the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.

Deep Impact project management is handled by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The spacecraft has been built for NASA by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation.

Related Links
Deep Impact mission at JPL
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Is Shiva Another K-T Impact Zone From 65 Million Years Ago
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Nov 04, 2004
According to the Earth Impact Database, there are two craters - the 180 kilometer-wide Chicxulub crater in Yucatan, Mexico and the much smaller Boltysh crater in eastern Ukraine - that date back to the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction 65 million years ago.



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