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Deep Impact
Deep Impact
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Deep Impact Mission Science Technology Mission Results Gallery Education Discovery Zone Your Community Press Discovery Zone - Brain Twisters

Here are some real facts from our mission to twist your brain around. See if you can figure out the answers.

BRAIN TWISTERS
Aiming at Comet Tempel 1
Why did the impactor's camera view keep tilting away from the predicted point of impact? Why did the camera on the observing flyby spacecraft point at the predicted place of impact up until the collision and then suddenly off to a new view? Steve Collins, an "Attitude Control" engineer for the Deep Impact mission can tell us what happened to both spacecraft but can you figure it out on your own? Look at the questions and clues.
Aiming at Comet Tempel 1
Design the Deep Impact mission
You have been asked to look at the science objectives for the Deep Impact mission and to design the spacecraft necessary to meet those objectives. The science objectives are to travel to a comet nucleus and make a deep crater in it. You are trying to determine the structure and composition of a comet nucleus and to find for the first time what lies beneath its surface.
Design the Deep Impact mission
Earth-Based Observatories
What are some good reasons to use Earth-based observatories for observing the impact? What are some reasons that the Deep Impact mission would not want to depend on Earth-based observatories?
Vector Challenge
Season's Greetings
As the winter cold greets us in the Northern Hemisphere here on Earth, it's time to ponder: Do comets have seasons?
Season's Greetings
Impactor Mass
If your job is to make as big a crater as possible in Comet Tempel 1, it makes sense to put as much mass into your projectile (our impactor spacecraft) as possible. Right? Recently, the impactor came up 10 kg (almost a 25 lb bag of flour) lighter than planned. Did the team add the extra weight back in? And if they did, where did they put it? The answer isn't as easy as you might think. Can you figure out what the team did?
Impactor Mass
Camera Test
Now, the engineers have designed and built the cameras for the Deep Impact mission. It's your job to be sure that they work, what do you do? Consider your own camera. If it's brand new, how would you test it?
Camera Test
Why Tempel 1?
Tempel 1 is the comet that best satisfied a variety of requirements when the mission team proposed. Can you guess some of the reasons this is so? Clues are: Size, rotation, orbital path, brightness, and schedule.
Why Tempel 1?
Solar Panel Hinge
The flyby spacecraft has a solar panel to take in the Sun's energy and turn it into power for the spacecraft. The early concept for the solar panel was that it be one piece. During the design phase, the engineers decided they needed a larger panel to provide enough energy for the entire spacecraft. Now the spacecraft has two panels that are hinged. Why was the hinge necessary?
Solar Panel Hinge

What do you know?

Try our Deep Impact Crossword Puzzles and Word Search games. If you're good at looking for clues throughout the site, you'll have no problem with these first two. To work a puzzle or search game, print it out and enter your answers.

Crossword Puzzles

Comet Parts Crossword Comet Parts
Some cultures once thought that comets were evil spirits. Now we know comets are, among other things, dirty snowballs of ice, dirt and rock. See how much you know about comets.

Small Body Missions Crossword Small Body Missions
See how much you know about these missions.

Famous Comets Crossword Famous Comets
Tempel 1 has become well known because it is the target for the Deep Impact mission but there are many other famous comets. While they are alike in many ways, there are some interesting facts about each one.

Word Search Puzzles

Comet Parts Word Search Comet Parts
Some cultures once thought that comets were evil spirits. Now we know comets are, among other things, dirty snowballs of ice, dirt and rock. See how much you know about comets.

Small Body Missions Word Search Small Body Missions
See how much you know about these missions.

Famous Comets Word Search Famous Comets
Tempel 1 has become well known because it is the target for the Deep Impact mission but there are many other famous comets. While they are alike in many ways, there are some interesting facts about each one.


Do you have a question you've always wanted to ask about comets?

Do you think you have a fact or question that will stump our experts? Contact Us with your question.




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