A Brief History
On January 12, 2005, the American space exploration agency known as NASA launched a mission called Deep Impact, a probe designed to violently impact the comet Tempel 1.
The goal of the Deep Impact project was to have an “impactor” strike the comet hard enough to dislodge material from the comet’s core for NASA scientists to study the material that makes up the core.
On July 4, 2005, the impactor performed as designed and struck the comet a mighty blow, leaving a crater and dislodging core material. Analysis of the dislodged material revealed a greater concentration of space dust and less icy material than suspected.
The main space craft part of Deep Impact continued on to explore space until contact with the space craft was lost in August of 2013.
Question for students (and subscribers): Is the tremendous cost of the space program worth it? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Bolte, Mari. Finding Life in the Universe. Cherry Lake Publishing, 2022.
Murdin, Paul. The Universe: A Biography. Thames & Hudson, 2022.
The featured image in this article, a computer rendering of the Deep Impact space probe after separation of the impactor, is in the public domain in the United States because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that “NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted“.
You can also watch video versions of this article on YouTube.