January 12, 2005

Cool space news

Here's one of those space stories I can really get behind, as I'm a sucker for blowing stuff up:

A NASA spacecraft with a Hollywood name — Deep Impact (search) — blasted off Wednesday on a mission to smash a hole in a comet and give scientists a glimpse of the frozen primordial ingredients of the solar system. . . .

Scientists are counting on Deep Impact to carve out a crater in Comet Tempel 1 that could almost swallow the Roman Coliseum. It will be humans' first look into the heart of a comet, a celestial snowball still containing the original building blocks of the sun and the planets. . . .

Nothing like this has ever been attempted before.

[Full Story]

Well, that last bit isn't strictly true: