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A Delta II rocket carrying the Deep Impact spacecraft blasts off from Florida in January 2005.
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Image courtesy NASA.

Deep Impact Blasts Off
News story originally written on January 14, 2005

A rocket carrying NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft blasted off on January 12, 2005. Deep Impact will study a comet.

Deep Impact has two parts. One part will fly by the comet. The other part, called an "impactor", will crash into the comet! The impactor will make a crater as big as a football stadium on the comet. Scientists want to see what the insides of a comet are like. The flyby part of Deep Impact will take pictures before, during, and after the crash.

Deep Impact will get to Comet Temple 1 on the Fourth of July, 2005. The comet is named after Ernst Tempel, who discovered it in 1867. Comet Temple 1 goes around the Sun once every 5.5 years.

Last modified January 14, 2005 by Randy Russell.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA