Thanks to all of you who participated in our Send Your Name to a Comet campaign. You were part of an incredible adventure to see what lies beneath the surface of a comet.
What is the Send Your Name to a Comet campaign?
Glad you asked! From Aug 2003 through Jan 2004, this project collected more than 650,000 names that were placed on a small disc and mounted on the impactor. As we made a Deep Impact - so did many of you as your names collided with comet Tempel 1. The Deep Impact mission dug deep beneath the surface of a comet to release frozen ice and dust left over from the formation of the solar system. Why did we do it? We learn about comets by studying the ice and dust that flows naturally from a comet as it is warmed by the Sun. But we can learn additional information by getting down inside where the more pristine material is hidden. Scientists expected to find hidden clues about how the solar system formed. On July 2005, the Deep Impact twin spacecraft encountered comet Tempel 1 with a resulting crater that gave us new information about comets.
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Send Your Name to...
Are you sure you participated in the Send Your Name to a Comet campaign? Deep Impact was not the first or only mission to collect names to send into space. Several of the Mars missions, Stardust, Dawn and others have also collected names. If you don't remember which mission you submitted your name to, you can try searching:
- Kepler (exoplanet search), ends 1 Nov 2008
- LRO (Moon), ends 27 Jun 2008
- Selene (Moon), end 2007
- Phoenix (Mars), end 2007
- Dawn (Vesta, Ceres), end 2006
- New Horizons (Pluto), end 2005
- Deep Impact (Tempel 1), end 2004
- Mars Exploration Rover (Mars), end 2003
- Stardust (Wild 2), end 1999