'Hitchhiker' EPOXI: Next Stop, Comet Hartley 2

June 29, 2010
NASA's Deep Impact/EPOXI spacecraft flew past Earth on June 27, 2010, to get a boost from Earth’s gravity. It is now on its way to comet Hartley 2, depicted in this artist’s concept, with a planned flyby this fall. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Deep Impact/EPOXI spacecraft flew past Earth Sunday (June 27) at approximately 3:03 p.m. Pacific time (6:03 p.m. Eastern time), as planned.

The spacecraft is now on its way to its appointment with comet Hartley 2 this fall. The members of the EPOXI team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., are currently working with data returned from the to refine the spacecraft trajectory estimates.

EPOXI is an extended mission of the spacecraft. Its name is derived from its two tasked science investigations -- the Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization (EPOCh) and the Deep Impact Extended Investigation (DIXI). On Nov. 4, 2010, the mission will fly by Hartley 2 using all three of the spacecraft's instruments (two telescopes with digital imagers and an ).

The University of Maryland, College Park, is the principal investigator institution. JPL manages EPOXI for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The spacecraft was built for NASA by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo.

Explore further: Deep Impact correction maneuver successful

Related Stories

Deep Impact correction maneuver successful

May 16, 2005

Fifty-nine days before going head-to-head with comet Tempel 1, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft successfully executed the second trajectory correction maneuver of the mission. The burn further refined the spacecraft's trajectory, ...

NASA Announces Deep Impact Future Mission Status

July 21, 2005

As NASA's Deep Impact flyby spacecraft prepares to execute its sixth trajectory correction maneuver, program managers at agency headquarters in Washington are investigating future options.

NASA Announces Another Comet Mission

October 31, 2006

NASA announced today that it has accepted the University of Maryland proposal to send the Deep Impact spacecraft on an extended mission to get a close-up look at Comet Boethin.

Recommended for you

'Bathtub rings' suggest Titan's dynamic seas

July 28, 2015

Saturn's moon, Titan, is the only object in the Solar System other than Earth known to have liquid on its surface. While most of the lakes are found around the poles, the dry regions near the equator contain signs of evaporated ...

Born-again planetary nebula

July 28, 2015

Beneath the vivid hues of this eye-shaped cloud, named Abell 78, a tale of stellar life and death is unfolding. At the centre of the nebula, a dying star – not unlike our Sun – which shed its outer layers on its way to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.