NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Two intriguing investigations -- One flight-proven spacecraft

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs About the Spacecraft & Instruments


Q: Will this be a totally different probe or similar to Deep Impact?
A: The spacecraft being used for the EPOXI mission is the original Deep Impact flyby spacecraft. Once Deep Impact was done with its mission, it was redirected to accomplish these new goals. So the hardware is the same and many of the team personnel are the same. We just have new goals and a new name.

Q: How will you position the probe? Is it an orbital approach or direct positioning?
A: The spacecraft has an AutoNav package that performs real-time image analysis of images of the comet to automatically update the orbit ephemeris of the comet and allow the spacecraft to better point at it. The spacecraft is only flying past the comet, not landing or going into orbit.

Q: Is any part of Deep Impact still intact/functional/?
A: Yes, the DI flyby spacecraft is still functional and is in fact the spacecraft being used by EPOXI for its observations.

Q: What is the name of the spacecraft?
A: Within the project, we use either "Deep Impact flyby spacecraft" (remembering that DI had 2 spacecraft!) or EPOXI's spacecraft, but probably more commonly we say the DI Flyby (DIF) spacecraft. When talking about the mission or the project, we always call it EPOXI, so it is only when talking specifically about the spacecraft that we call it DI flyby S/C and that serves to remind people that it is a spacecraft that already completed its prime mission. I think most of the folks on the team think of it as a new mission for the old spacecraft and that the name of the spacecraft itself has not changed.

+ Home



Bookmark and Share