Jul 02 2005

The Real Deep Impact

Published by at 7:52 am under All General Discussions

A rarely post on things related to my day job (since this is my escape back into reality) but this weekend NASA plans something that is outright cool. They plan to intercept a comet and try and crack it open (a little bit). If you ever watched the movies Deep Impact or Armaggedon you can get a feel for an interesting skill set this kind of mission can create.

It’s not the first time man has successfully rendeavouzed with a small celestial object. The NEAR mission performed the hard job of orbiting an asteriod and then later landing on it. Last year the European Space Agency launched another comet rendevous mission called ROSETTA. ROSETTA carries a lander for cometary exploration.

Side note: the wife and I were in Darmstadt that week and got to see the ESA control center in action the day after the launch. Amazing place.

So there are lots and lots of things happening above our heads these days. Too bad it doesn’t seem to generate the interest and respect it should. Hitting a snowball with a self-guiding BB from a few thousand miles away is not as easy as it sounds (and yes, I mean it is not as easy as I made it sound).

One response so far

One Response to “The Real Deep Impact”

  1. Jeff says:

    Believe me, in my house we appreciate it. We’ve been following the mission, and when I told my six year old about the success of the impact probe he asked, “Was it destroyed?” “Oh yes, it made a big explosion.” He burst into tears, and I had to draw a diagram for him to show him the “mothership” was fine, etc. Reassured, he gleefully set out to elaborate on the explosion part of the drawing.