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How to Harpoon a Comet

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Greg M. Jung
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Repurposing the Probe
Greg M. Jung   9/14/2014 12:11:59 PM
One of the more impressive items mentioned in the article was how the probe had to be redirected to a new comet that was much different than the orginal comet.  Since the probe hardware could not be redesigned, the team had to be very creative at coming up with new methods to make the existing spacecraft software complete the mission.  I'm sure many long hours were spent on new program instructions and the simulations needed to model these new behavior characteristics.

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Re: How to Harpoon a Comet
Cadman-LT   9/13/2014 2:10:36 PM
This will be a major feat if successful. I am just glad to see people try. Didn't NASA just give up? lol

Dave Palmer
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Re: How to Harpoon a Comet
Dave Palmer   9/12/2014 5:46:49 PM
@Cabe: Mars missions are notorious for their bad luck.  About two-thirds of all Mars missions have ended in failure; this is known as the "Mars curse." In spite of the high-profile failures of the Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander, NASA has had much better luck with Mars than Russia has. (If the Soviet Phobos probes had been successful, they would have been extremely cool).

In contrast, comet missions to date have been extremely successful (although, until now, nobody has actually tried to land on a comet).  The only exception was the CONTOUR probe, which was lost while leaving Earth orbit in 2002.

Cabe Atwell
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How to Harpoon a Comet
Cabe Atwell   9/12/2014 4:33:28 PM
Considering NASA lost their Polar Lander and Climate Orbiter for a Mars excursion, I'd say this is quite a feat!

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