NASA's comet-hunting Deep Impact mission had many lives before end

September 21, 2013 7:19 AM

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NASA's comet-hunting Deep Impact mission had many lives before end

After nearly nine years in space and 4.7 billion miles traveled, NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft has met an unexpected end after mission members lost contact with it last month. Though it was unable to complete its latest assignment, the comet-hunting spacecraft led a far longer life than expected with several career changes after its first encounter with comet Tempel 1.

"We’re all saddened by the loss of the spacecraft when we were just about to get some data that should have been very interesting on comet ISON and were hoping to continue for years to come," said the mission’s principal investigator, Michael A’Hearn, an astronomer at the University of Maryland at C...

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