Encounter Animation 2
This video clip represents the original launch date for Deep Impact which was January 2004. Under that schedule, the twin spacecraft would have taken one year to orbit the Sun. As it passed the Earth in January 2005, it would have used the moon to test its instruments before heading to Comet Tempel 1. The one year orbit has been replaced by further testing on the ground prior to launch. The two-part spacecraft was launched in January 2005, and will travel directly to the comet.
(This video was produced prior to the change in launch date. Deep Impact was successfully launched on 12 Jan 2005.)
Original Caption: The flyby spacecraft will release the impactor into the path of the approaching Comet Tempel 1. Prior to impact, the flyby spacecraft begins a "deflection maneuver" which moves away and down at an angle. This will provide a safe distance for the flyby spacecraft and will also give it the best angle for observing the new crater made by the impactor. The entire spacecraft tilts up to observe the crater, and then holds at an approximate 45-degree angle while dust shields called Whipple shields protect the instruments from debris in the comet path.
CREDIT: Frank Semerano, JPL Media Relations