Saturday, September 03, 2005

Billion Dollar Toy

“NASA has made a billion dollar toy just to make it hit and burst.” Perplexed?
Well, read on. ‘Deep Impact’ is a billion dollar mission to answer the billion dollar question of how Earth was formed a billion years ago.
Engineers designed two vehicles for this mission, a SUV sized flyby spacecraft (which acts as the mother ship) equipped with telescopes, cameras, spectrometer and 820 pound impact craft about the size of a washing machine.
The comet Tempel1 is oblong and about 9 miles long. Comets are orbiting relics made of mysterious amalgams of rocks, ice & dust born with the solar system 4.5 billion years ago.
At 500,000 miles away form Tempel1, the Impactor gets released from the mother ship. It transmits images till it collides with a force of 5 ton dynamite making a crater of the size of a football ground. Many scientists believe that comets brought to Earth a lot of water, all organics needed to implant life on Earth. Let’s wait and watch the result. Click to view the collision pictures.