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Deep Impact scores a bullseye
Posted: Mon, Jul 4, 2005, 11:27 AM ET (1527 GMT)
Tempel 1 comet after Deep Impact collision (NASA/JPL) A probe from NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft collided with the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 early Monday as scientists declared the mission a "smashing success". The prove. which deployed from the main spacecraft early Sunday, hit the nucleus at 1:52 am EDT (0552 GMT). Cameras on the probe returned images of ever-increasing detail of the nucleus' surface as it approached, revealing craters, ridges, and other features. The impact itself created a brilliant plume of material, far more prominent that scientists predicted, that was clearly seen by the main spacecraft as it flew past the comet. A handful of images and other data were returned by the spacecraft, with the rest to be downlinked in the days to come.
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