DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 57. Future Missions and Instruments posters
Displayed, 9:00am Tuesday - 3:00pm Saturday, Highlighted, Saturday, December 1, 2001, 2:00-2:30pm, French Market Exhibit Hall

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[57.22] The Deep Impact Discovery Mission: Update

L.A. McFadden, M.F. A'Hearn, C.M. Lisse, D.D. Wellnitz (U. Maryland), M.J.S. Belton (Belton Space Exploration Initiatives), A. Delamere (Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.), K.P. Klaasen (JPL), J. Kissel (MPI), K.J. Meech (U. Hawaii), H.J. Melosh (U. Arizona), P.H. Schultz (Brown U.), J. M. Sunshine (SAIC), J. Veverka (Cornell U.), D.K. Yeomans (JPL)

The Deep Impact mission consists of two spacecraft, a flyby and an impactor, which together will excavate a crater and explore beneath the surface of comet 9P/Tempel 1. This experiment will produce the highest resolution images of a comet nucleus to date, and the first glimpse into a cometís interior composition and structure allowing a direct comparison of the newly excavated interior to that previously emitted into the cometís coma. Launching together in January, 2004, for a 1.5 year cruise including an Earth and Moon flyby, encounter and impact will be in July, 2005. Twenty four hours before impact, the two spacecraft will separate. The flyby spacecraft will be slowed and diverted to miss the comet by 500 km. Its closest approach occurs ~14 minutes post impact. The impactor spacecraft continues under autonomous guidance control to hit the comet. Ground-based telescopic observations will complement the spacecraft data. The flyby payload includes a medium resolution imager (MRI) with filters and 10 mrad fov which will monitor the comet nucleus at high time resolution during and following impact to determine fundamental nucleus properties. The high resolution imager (HRI) will follow the crater formation at a spatial resolution of 1.4 m/pixel at impact. The infrared spectral imaging module (SIM) will collect spectra between 1-4.8 microns continuously before, during and after impact to compare outgassing composition before and after impact and to look for spatial variations in composition. The impactor payload carries the mass to excavate the crater and the impactor targeting sensor (ITS), a white light imager designed to collect high speed images as long as possible before impact to characterize the comet nucleus. We expect the highest resolution to be 20-30 cm/pixel. An S-band transmitter sends the images to the flyby which relays them back to Deep Space Network receivers on Earth. Ball Aerospace is designing and building the spacecraft and instruments. Mission design and operations is carried out at JPL under its project management.


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