Thursday, November 4, 2010

Comet Fly-by: EPOXI and Hartley 2

EPOXI, also known as Deep Impact. NASA art.

As I write this we are twenty-two minutes away from the closest approach that the EPOXI space explorer will make to comet Hartley 2. Expecting to approach to 435 miles from the comet nucleus, EPOXI will give us some great photos and data about this comet, which seems to have a "peanut-like" shape. Hartley 2 is a very prolific comet,pumping out tons of ice dust and debris as it orbits around the Sun.

The last instructions have been uploaded to the spacecraft and it is now on autopilot. Good luck to EPOXI and its team of explorers breathlessly waiting at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

We are anxiously watching NASA-TV from the bunker. At last, we are striking back against the comet war overlords, making this reconnaissance of one of their evil bombers. Debris from this Hartley-2 bomber will remain as a minefield in space, just waiting for our planet or some luckless spacecraft to approach near enough to suffer a meteor strike. Hopefully this information will aid us in preparing defenses against the continual meteoric assault on our planet from the evil Comet Empire. ; )

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