"Because in Cyberspace, no one can hear you scream."
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
A drawing of Deep Impact approaching Comet Tempel 1.
It appears that NASA is sending two space craft (dubbed Flyby and Impactor) with the sole purpose of one of the crafts to smash into a comet in order to gain secrets locked inside.
"All I can do now is worry and hope," said Deep impact principal investigator Michael A'Hearn, of the University of Maryland, during a telephone interview. "And then watch it go."
The comet being smashed into is Tempel 1 (an original name, heh?) which is thought to be a typical example of comets. Researchers hope that by doing so they will get a glimpse of the pristine material from the beginning of the formation of our Solar System. They may also hold a role in the future of space exploration.
And while they may have played a role in our beginnings, comets could one day be tapped by future human space explorers as a source for water, oxygen and hydrogen fuel for far-flung space missions, NASA researchers said.
"They could be the watering holes and fuel stations for future interplanetary exploration," Yeomans said.
Although few comets interest me that much (I see them as dirty snow balls) their role in space exploration makes them of greater value. The solar system is ripe with resources (if you know where to look) and "comet hopping" may be one way to get to more lucrative planetary systems such as Jupiter and Saturn (their moons that is). Mars may be a good testing ground for future colonies, but any investment on that rust ball of a planet would have to be temporary, as the weather on that planet can be severe. That's it for me, Selah!
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