This Summer the guys at NASA get to have a little fun. Sometime this month they’ll be launching an unmanned spacecraft called Deep Impact. The craft will travel about 268 million miles, park in a safe spot, and launch the Impactor (sounds like another movie title!) which will collide with Comet Tempel 1 on July 4.
If all goes as planned — they’re 99 percent sure it’ll work — the Impactor will knock a divot out of Tempel 1, which will help NASA scientists learn more about the composition of comets.
This should be great. The mothership will have a ringside seat for the collision and a bevy of cameras and instruments to send lots of data and some great pictures back to Earth.