Saturday, July 07, 2007

New lives for old spacecraft

NASA has approved new missions for two space probes which are still functioning well after completing their primary tasks in the harshest of environments. Deep Impact, which launched an impactor into Comet Tempel 1 in 2005, will not head for another comet and then turn its instruments on stars known to have planets. Stardust, which sent a canister containing interstellar and cometary dust samples back to Earth, will now go on for another look at the post-impact Tempel 1.
COMMENT: NASA, as an agency, takes a lot of criticism, some of it deserved (and some of it from me, not that they probably notice), but this is a good example of the human ingenuity which still exists there, unabated since the glory days of Apollo.

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