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EPOXI Mission News
Paolo
post May 21 2009, 07:15 AM
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A nice presentation "Remote Detection of Life on Earth ….inferences from EPOXI"


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I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.

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Paolo
post May 26 2009, 05:05 AM
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QUOTE (Rich @ Apr 1 2009, 01:27 AM) *
Hi all,

I just noticed a new article on the EPOXI website by the EPOCh P.I. Drake Deming:

http://epoxi.umd.edu/2science/alienmaps.shtml

Enjoy!

~Rich


The article Alien Maps of an Ocean-Bearing World is now on arxiv


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Paolo
post Jun 7 2009, 06:40 AM
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There is a mission update on the EPOXI site: http://epoxi.umd.edu/1mission/status.shtml

Characterizing Comet Hartley 2
Although the EPOXI mission's spacecraft is in a period of relative inactivity, the team is still actively working on a variety of questions. One of the key areas of investigation is the characterization of the next target, comet Hartley 2. Several investigations have been carried out to characterize the nuclear size and albedo, the large dust, and the rotation of the nucleus. These investigations have been aimed for the period before the nucleus begins outgassing significantly as it approaches the sun.

Observation were taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope in August 2008. The analysis of those data yields a nuclear effective radius of 0.6 km, slightly smaller than, but still comparable to, the size deduced using the European Infrared Space Observatory at the previous apparition. These observations also show that there is a trail of large dust particles released much earlier and still orbiting the sun close to the nucleus. This is a common phenomenon among comets.

The next step was an effort to determine the rotational period in order to design the observing sequence for the approach to the comet. A series of observations with the Hubble Space Telescope in late April were somewhat puzzling. Subsequent observations with a variety of ground-based telescopes, particularly with Gemini-South and Gemini-North on the same night, have suggested a rotational period near 2/3 day, but with narrow minima that were not caught in the HST observations.


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James Van Allen
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Paolo
post Jun 21 2009, 06:38 PM
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From the latest Discovery and New Frontiers Newsletter

Although the EPOXI mission's spacecraft is in a period of relative inactivity, the team is actively working on a number of areas of interest, including characterizing the next target, comet Hartley 2.
Several investigations have been carried out to characterize the nuclear size and albedo, the large dust, and the rotation of the nucleus. These studies are timed for the period before the nucleus begins outgassing significantly as it approaches the sun. Another effort is to determine the Hartley 2’s rotational period to design the observing sequence for the approach to the comet. A series of observations with the Hubble Space Telescope in late April were somewhat puzzling. Subsequent observations with a variety of groundbased telescopes, particularly with Hawaii’s GeminiSouth and GeminiNorth on the same night, suggest a rotational period near 2/3 day, but with narrow minima that were not caught in the HST observations.
The team is preparing to continue its role in testing software that could lead to improved interplanetary network communications. Last fall, a NASAwide team used DisruptionTolerant Networking, or DTN, software to transmit dozens of space images to and from the Deep Impact spacecraft which was more than 20 million miles from Earth. The test was called DINET (Deep Impact DTN experiment). Computers on the ground at JPL were used to simulate stations on Earth, Mars, and the Martian moon Phobos. The experiment was successful, with all the data transmitted without corruption even as various faults and breakdowns in the system were simulated.
The team was pleased to support this activity that will ultimately lead to much better communications across the solar system. The Preliminary Design Review for DINET2 was conducted on May 13. The current timeline is being reviewed to determine when to begin DINET2 activities on the spacecraft. It may begin following the infrared imaging of Earth at high southern latitudes scheduled for August 17.


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Paolo
post Jun 26 2009, 05:07 AM
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Published at last Spitzer Space Telescope Observations of the Nucleus of Comet 103P/Hartley 2


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I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.

James Van Allen
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dmuller
post Jun 30 2009, 06:24 PM
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There was a somewhat distant Earth flyby of Epoxi on 29 June at some 1.3 million km ... distant yet Epoxi is still closer to Earth than Planck is at the moment. Next close-ish approach at the end of the year


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Paolo
post Aug 1 2009, 03:39 PM
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A very short update on EPOXI's mission page


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I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.

James Van Allen
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Paolo
post Aug 28 2009, 06:39 PM
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Browsing the DSN schedule (http://rapweb.jpl.nasa.gov/Planning/TMODMISS.pdf) I noticed that EPOXI is to conclude in November 2010 after the Hartley flyby, but the document gives a "probable end" date for the mission of 31 October 2011. Any idea what they plan to use the spacecraft for during the intervening year?


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I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.

James Van Allen
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IM4
post Aug 29 2009, 05:03 PM
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QUOTE (Paolo @ Aug 28 2009, 07:39 PM) *
Any idea what they plan to use the spacecraft for during the intervening year?

EPOXI trajectory from HORIZONS lasts till February 1, 2012. My program predicts several distant flybys of tiny asteroids and pass through cloud of Schwassmann-Wachmann comets:
CODE
    Object Name              Distance(AU)  Date
73P-BB/Schwassmann-Wachmann    0.15935    2011-May-30
73P-V/Schwassmann-Wachmann3    0.06787    2011-Jun-15
73P-BD/Schwassmann-Wachmann    0.06865    2011-Jun-21
73P-BG/Schwassmann-Wachmann    0.06644    2011-Jun-28
73P-BR/Schwassmann-Wachmann    0.07153    2011-Jul-02
73P-BF/Schwassmann-Wachmann    0.09753    2011-Jul-23
73P-AT/Schwassmann-Wachmann    0.11083    2011-Aug-27

I guess they could tweak spacecraft's trajectory and study some of these objects.
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Paolo
post Aug 31 2009, 05:47 AM
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I wrote to EPOXI PI to ask for some clarifications and he tells me that

QUOTE
Oct 2011 is the official end of our contract from NASA for EPOXI, but that includes the preliminary analysis phase. Our current plan is that spacecraft operations will end in Dec 2010.


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I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.

James Van Allen
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Paolo
post Sep 17 2009, 05:09 AM
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On ArXiv today A Search for Additional Planets in the NASA EPOXI Observations of the Exoplanet System GJ 436


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I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.

James Van Allen
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elakdawalla
post Sep 24 2009, 12:49 AM
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I'm pretty sure the answer is "no" but I thought I'd check here...has there been a PDS release of any of the Deep Impact / EPOXI data from after the Tempel 1 encounter? Specifically, have any of the MRI or HRI images of Earth and/or Moon hit the PDS?

--Emily


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djellison
post Sep 24 2009, 06:02 AM
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http://pdssbn.astro.umd.edu/missions/epoxi/index.html

Nothing.
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Rich
post Sep 25 2009, 08:50 AM
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Hi all:

Just a quick update. EPOXI scientists have discovered water absorption features on the moon. The data was obtained from the IR spectrometer calibrations taken in December and twice in June. Chandryaan's M3 instrument also observed similar absorption features. This was published in Science yesterday. Read more here:
http://epoxi.umd.edu/2science/hydratedmoon.shtml

~Rich
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Paolo
post Dec 14 2009, 06:31 PM
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Yet another EPOXI-related paper on arXiv:
Studying the atmosphere of the exoplanet HAT-P-7b via secondary eclipse measurements with EPOXI, Spitzer and Kepler


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I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.

James Van Allen
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