The mission hardware consisted of a flyby spacecraft and a smart impactor that separated from the flyby probe 24 hours before collision. The 350-kg cylindrical copper impactor had an active guidance system to steer it to its impact on the sunlit side of the comet's surface at a relative velocity of 10.3 km/s.
Continuing missionNASA extended the mission of Deep Impact and renamed it EPOXI, redirecting the spacecraft for a flyby of comet Hartley 2 on November 4, 2010. As it cruised toward the comet, EPOXI observed five nearby stars with transiting exosolar planets, so named because the planets transit, or pass in front of, their central stars.
Archived newsNASA's Deep Impact begins hunt for alien worlds (Feb 9, 2008)
NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft spots its quarry (Apr 28, 2005)
External siteDeep Impact home page (JPL)
Related entry comet and asteroid missions
Related category SATELLITES AND SPACE PROBES
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