Original Deep Impact Trajectory
A new launch period is announced for the Deep Impact project, the first mission to look deep inside a comet. Technical and management issues, including contamination in the propulsion system and late deliveries of key spacecraft components, resulted in delays in the pre-flight testing schedule. These concerns led Deep Impact Principal Investigator, Mike A'Hearn, to recommend to NASA a delay of launch. A launch period beginning 12 January 2005, previously identified as a back-up date, provides more thorough testing for the spacecraft systems before launch and allows the spacecraft to arrive at Comet Tempel 1 to impact it as originally scheduled on 4 July 2005. NASA management approved the recommendation.