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Deep Space 1

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The Deep Space 1 mission is the first New Millennium mission to test advanced technologies. The testing will take the spacecraft past an asteroid, a comet and Mars. The mission will test solar electric ion propulsion engines, and use autonomous optical navigation. The instrumentation will include a miniature camera and imaging spectrometer, as well as an ion and electron spectrometer. The science objectives of the asteroid flyby include measurement of basic physical properties, and examination of the solar wind-asteroid interaction. Likewise, the basic physical parameters will be measured for comet P/West-Kohoutek-Ikemura, while in addition studying the relationship of the surface features to the jets. Prior to arriving at the comet, the spacecraft will get a gravity assist from Mars, while at the same time studying the surface and atmosphere of Mars.

Recently, the mission launch was delayed from July 1998 to Oct 1998 because the mission was behind schedule. New targets will have to be selected, and it is unlikely that it will be able to go by a comet.

Mission Timeline

  • 1998 Oct - Launch (Delayed)
  • 1999 Jan - 3352 McAuliffe close flyby
  • 2000 Apr - Mars flyby
  • 2000 Jun - P/West-Kohoutek-Ikemura close approach
  • 2000 Jul - end of primary mission

IRTF Mission Support

  • Frequent astrometric measurements will be required of the targets to ensure that the orbits are extremely well known for the close approaches.
  • Knowledge of the nucleus/asteroid sizes and rotation are needed to plan the photographic aspects of the mission, as well as to estimate the gravity field. The IRTF is ideally suited for obtaining nucleus parameters, such as size, albedo and rotation.
  • Excellent models of the dust environment of P/West-Kohoutek-Ikemura will be needed to allow for proper protection of the spacecraft.


Last Updated on December 16, 1999

This page has been visited times since October 1999.
Karen Meech, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii
meech@.ifa.hawaii.edu