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NASA Direct! Webcast
Deep Impact: Mission to a Comet
Questions for Dr. Lucy McFadden
Professor of Astronomy
University of Maryland

Michael from Columbia
I was wondering why the space ships go so fast through the atmosphere? If they went slow would the ship still experience the same amount of heat re-entering the atmosphere?
Junichi MAKI from Niihama-city
How deep a crater will the impactor make on Tempel 1? How far is the Comet Tempel 1 from the Earth in AU?
Junichi MAKI from Niihama-city
Why did you choose Tempel 1 as the target of the Deep Impact mission?
What are the differences between the Deep Impact mission versus sample-return missions to comets?
How long will it take the Deep Impact spacecraft to release the impactor toward Tempel 1, after catching up and rendezvousing with Tempel 1?
Could I watch the breathtaking crash phase live on the website or on television?
How soon will you broadcast a press conference after the crash, regarding breakthrough results of chemical analysis of Tempel 1?
How do you propel the impactor from the Deep Impact spacecraft towards Tempel 1? Do you use jet-thrust to launch the impactor? What amount of energy is produced by colliding with the comet?
What kind of breakthrough discovery is supposed to be revealed regarding the chemical compsitions of Comet Tempel 1? I'm looking foward to the analysis of the data.
Junichi Maki from NIIHAMA-CITY
Could you tell me the orbit of Tempel 1? For example, perigee and apogee and that cycle of returning period.
There is a hypothesis that life on Earth originated from another heavenly body, including comets. Is the Deep Impact spacecraft able to analyze the life form or that similar to chemical compounds of the materials around the nucleus of Comet Tempel 1? I'd like you to comment on this hypothesis!
How long will the Deep Impact spacecraft be able to observe and analyze the chemical compositions of Tempel 1 after colliding with this comet?
Paul from Rockville
What will we learn about the mechanical properties of the comet such as strength, damping, etc?
Nathaniel from Monsey,NY
How will Deep Impact collide with the comet?
Peter from Basel Swiss
How fast is the impact speed?
jesser from salem
Is there a possibility that doing this mission might set the comet off of its orbit and might do damage to neighboring planets, stars, etc...?
At what point will the Deep Impact Spacecraft be activated to send the images of Tempel-1 to Earth?
What amount of Heat Energy would be produced from Kinetic Energy at a velocity of 23000 mph? Could you give me an explantion on the temperature on the surface at the very moment of impact?
Considering the Impactor's velocity of about 23000 mph, what do you predict the temperature in the newly born crater will be? Even though the Imapactor is the size of a coffee table, would the surface of Tempel-1 be heated with the energy of its velocity?
By analyzing the data of Tempel-1, will you be able to acurately estimate how old Tempel-1 is?
In order to take multiple images of Tempel-1, what kinds of sensing wave do you use? eg. infrared,x-ray, ultra-violet ray or another type?
What will become of the Deep Impact Spacecraft after accomplishing the Mission? Will it be eternally flying in space?
After the Deep Impact Mission turns out to be totally succsessful next year, will you apply "this kind of method" to another celestial body for exploring in the near future?
Peter from Basel Swiss
If the launch Window is closed for Deep Impact is there a new comet to target for the Spacecraft?
Marc from Bowie, MD
What is the story behind this Mission?
Marc from Bowie, MD
When will the Deep Impact Spacecraft go on internal power? Good Luck with the Mission Chuck and GO DELTA!
Thomas from Jonesboro, Ar
What is being used to "Blast" a hole into Tempel-1 to figure out what comets are really made of?
Hector from Phoenix
I signed up my wife's name and mine to be sent aboard the Deep Impact spacecraft. What type of device, such as CD or DVD, was used as hard proof that our names have been planted on Comet Tempel 1?
Hector from Phoenix
What's the velocity of Comet Tempel 1?
Hector from Phoenix
If comet was one of life-originator, would the comet be composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphate?
Hector from Phoenix
At the second of impact, would the impact create a brief heat or just a cold impact?
Fred from Chicago
Is this mission also a test to see if we can destroy or change the course of comets and meteors?
Is the impactor equipped with an optical camera like the flyby spacecraft?
How much heat energy is supposed to be transferred to the surface of Tempel-1 from the Impactor's Kinetic Energy on colliding its Comet?
jithesh from india
What are the results other than the life source presence, we may be obtaining form this mission? May God bless for success but if the mission fails what would be your next prospect for such an expedition over the same or some other comet? What are the sensing methods used here for the study of the surface and beneath it, is it ultraviolet, infrared, radio, X-ray or any other source? GOOD LUCK.
jithesh from india
Is there any possibility of this mission spacecraft destroying the comet or possibly redirecting the path of the comet causing harm to nearby planets or asteroids? If so what would be the troubleshooter for this problem?
How is the impact velocity of 23,000 mph obtained? If the impactor's dimension is restricted in proportion to the flyby spacecraft, is it possible for you to increase the impact velocity by applying the formula: E=1/2mass velocity squared?
How long is the duration for the impact spacecraft to observe the crash? Considering the mutual velocity of Tempel 1 and the Deep Imapact spacecraft, is its duration long enough to analyze the data of Tempel 1?
Robert from Alma, Colorado
Please describe the flyby spacecraft's mission after the Tempel 1 encounter.
Ann Martin from Waterloo, Ont.
Regarding the rocket launch that is scheduled for Jan 12, is there any possibility that the date could change due to the weather?
Vince from Galt, CA
Will we be able to observe the comet at the time of impact with amateur telescopes?
Ang from Singapore
What if Comet Tempel 1 comet has life forms living on or in it, and Deep Impact kills them?
Ang Yi Ci from Singapore
Will Deep Impact be destroyed by debris flying out of Tempel 1?
Claudio from Rome
How will the impact will change Comet Tempel 1's orbit? What are the risks of a future impact to Earth? Are you just using computer modeling to predict?
David Abbou from Stafford, VA
For amateur astronomers on Earth, how much and how quickly will brightening of the comet occur after the impact with Deep Impact? Could the brightening exceed expectations?
Why is the launch time & date delayed from Dec. 30, 2004 to Jan. 12, 2005 in spite of the narrow windows of Deep Impact Mission?
Derek from Dallas, TX
After such a violent impact, is there a way to identify the composition of different "layers" of comet material, or is the idea just to look at what's kicked up? Or, is it a silly question as the makeup of the comet is mostly homogenous?
chris from liverpool-UK
Is it possible that large fragments can break off the comet after impact, and cause future hazards for space vehicles? Best wishes for the mission.
Could you tell me the mass density of Comet Tempel 1? I suppose it is much more fragile and lightweight compared with so-called rocky planets. Is there any possibility that Tempel 1 is completely broken to pieces by the impactor?
Eric from North Lincs,
Are there any photos of the water channels/flumes, etc. underneath the launch pad?
Mike from Frostburg, MD
Is this also a test to determine if it is possible to cahnge the course of a comet to avoid an Earth inpact? It seems that this could be a perfect way to test the theory. Also will you be using any type of explosives?
Ken from Princeton, NJ
Will the impact be visible using a moderately sized backyard telescope?
Matthew from Englewood Cliff
What is the risk of a comet or asteroid hitting Earth? And if so what might we do? What might NASA do? Because I heard on the news that an asteroid might hit Earth in the year 2025.
Matthew from Englewood Cliff
What is the velocity of Comet Tempel 1? And what will the velocity of the imapactor be?
Matthew from Englewood Cliff
What will we do with the fly-by spacecraft after the fly-by of the comet if it still works?
Matthew from Big Lake, MN
What do you expect to find after the impactor impacts Comet Tempel 1? To what extent would it tell us about the formation of our solar system?
David Abbou from Stafford, VA
What future missions to comets are in the works? Will they be as bold as Deep Impact if it is successful?
Rainer Riemann from Heidelberg, Ger
When will be the impact (Time and Date)? (I would like to observe it from Germany.)
Nathaniel from Monsey,NY
What will be the flight trajectory? Why?
Marek from small town
What would you do if a comet threatened Earth?
will from phoenix
Is there any chance that a large chunk of the comet will be blasted toward Earth?
Scott from Las Vegas
Will the impact device be a war head or like a bullet? If explosive...what type and size?
Anees from india
If the spacecraft faces any trouble or an asteroid comes in its way, what you then do at that time?
Anees from india
Does the speed of spacecraft get affected when it gets near to the planetary object, or if/when it goes from one medium into another?
Harold from Murfreesboro
What about deflection of the comet in relation to Earth's orbit in the future? And the parts or debris from it after the explosion?
Anil from Udupi-India
Suppose the comet's nucleus contains some lava-like substance, what will be its effect after the explosion?
Val from Dallas, Tx
How do you make sure when the impactor crashes into the comet, it does not cross contaminate other planets, comets or asteroids that may come into contact with any debris?
David Ryle from Wichita Falls,
Will amateur astronomers with small telescopes be able to detect any brightness changes in Temple 1 after impact?
Jimbo Bosso from P Bch Garden FL
Some scientists have suggested that the mysterious Siberian blast was caused by an antimatter comet. Have the worst case scenarios for our probe encountering an antimatter comet, and the resulting "atomic" reaction been considered?
Budzey from Hamltion
How can you look at a comet and study the past from it? What will we learn, how the universe started?
michael from sunderland
If the comet does hit Earth, where will it hit?
michael from stratford
How will you mine a comet for gold, and send it back to Earth?
jay from college park,md
How did the design of spacecraft come about? Can you give a short summary?
Ian from Chilliwack
Is there any relationship between this mission and the recent news of a comet that might collide with Earth in 2025?
Juan Rodriguez from Oviedo, Spain
After the main mission, will Deep Impact be able to study another comets, changing -or not- their orbit? (I mean, something similar to what was planned for the failed Contour mission). Thank you.
Juan Rodriguez from Oviedo, Spain
How can you calculate/assure that Deep Impact will be safe from the debris flying out of Tempel 1?
Suppose the comet's nucleus contains some lava-like substance, what will be its effect after the explosion?
Juan Rodriguez from Oviedo, Spain
Is Deep Impact going to study the ejecta from Comet Tempel 1? For how long? Are you expecting to see its "behavior"? Thanks
Craig from La Crescenta
What will be the effect of the impact on the comet's orbit?
Frank from The Hague
This comet is a very small target to hit, comparing for instance to the Mars Rover missions. Does the Deep Space network give enough accurancy to make this encouter or do the probe's instruments help? How sure are we that we will hit the target?
Rich from Elk Grove, Ill
Is there a possibility that with the impact the comet you can or will vary the current path of the comet? Please explain why or why not. Thank you.
Rich from Elk Grove, Ill
Why was the Delta II rocket selected for this mission? Is there anything special on this rocket for this launch?
Robert from Perkiomenvl PA
How will copper affect the radiation spectra of the impacted material?
George from Scotland
The recent large earthquake in SE Asia reportedly shifted the earth’s axis by one inch. Does this mean that you need to recalculate the Deep Impact launch trajectory and/or subsequent space navigation to rendezvous with Tempel 1?
Tony from Simpsonville,Sc
How large is Tempel 1? And how long will it take to get to it?
Mike from KSC
Will this test prove or disprove the small snow comet theory of seeding the Earth's oceans?