On Oct. 24, 1998, NASA launched the Deep Field 1 spacecraft. Managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Deep Field 1 served as a testbed for 12 new technologies, including photo voltaic electrical, additionally called ion propulsion, to be used in future deep space and interplanetary missions. The spacecraft, the first in NASA’s Unusual Millennium program, flew by asteroid Braille and comet Borrelly, returning images and scientific knowledge about the 2 little our bodies. The ion propulsion engine that Deep Field 1 successfully demonstrated allowed the Destroy of day spacecraft to search out the protoplanet Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres the exercise of that technology. The Psyche spacecraft presently on its technique to search out the asteroid of the identical name, additionally makes exercise of ion propulsion. Future programs similar to Gateway will exercise ion propulsion to enable human lunar exploration. Deep Field 1 carried out its mission on Dec. 18, 2001.
Left: The fully assembled Deep Field 1 spacecraft ready for originate. Middle: Peek of the Deep Field 1 spacecraft’s ion propulsion engine. Lawful: Originate of Deep Field 1 on a Delta II rocket from Originate Pad 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Power Set up apart of dwelling, now Cape Canaveral Field Power Set up apart of dwelling, in Florida.
The 12 technologies Deep Field 1 examined integrated the ion propulsion diagram; the self sufficient navigation diagram; an self sufficient retain watch over diagram; a beacon diagram that sends simple tones to Earth to converse controllers of spacecraft smartly being; a photograph voltaic array with concentrator lenses; an built-in camera and imaging spectrometer; an built-in ion and electron spectrometer; a little deep-space transponder; a Ka-band stable-suppose vitality amplifier; low-vitality electronics; a multifunctional structure checking out new packaging technology; and a vitality activation and switching module. Scientists additionally gathered knowledge on whether or not the ion engine’s plume interfered with any of the spacecraft’s devices. The ion engine veteran xenon gasoline as its propellant and acquired vitality from the spacecraft’s excessive-effectivity photo voltaic arrays. Even supposing offering low thrust total, the engine carried out more thrust than any chemical engine.
The originate of Deep Field 1 took suppose atop a Delta II rocket on Oct. 24, 1998, from Originate Pad 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Power Set up apart of dwelling, now Cape Canaveral Field Power Set up apart of dwelling, in Florida. After coming into an preliminary parking orbit around the Earth, the rocket’s third stage boosted Deep Field 1 into photo voltaic orbit. The preliminary mission view integrated demonstration of the new technologies and a flyby of asteroid 1992 KD, renamed 9969 Braille rapidly sooner than the spacecraft’s bump into. On Nov. 10, ground controllers commanded the ion engine to start firing nonetheless it most efficient operated for 4.5 minutes. They tried again on Nov. 24 with the spacecraft 3 million miles from Earth, and this time the engine firing succeeded, running for the deliberate 14 days. Over the next six months, the spacecraft successfully examined all 12 of its technology demonstrations, finishing up the job in June 1999.
Ensuing from an onboard computer fracture rapidly sooner than the bump into, as well to the inability of the self sufficient navigation diagram to lock onto the darker than expected asteroid, Deep Field 1’s flyby of Braille on July 29, 1999, occurred at a distance of 16 miles in preference to the deliberate 790 ft. Thus, the shots the spacecraft returned failed to demonstrate any detail, whereas other devices supplied correct knowledge. When the spacecraft’s necessary mission ended on Sept. 18, 1999, mission managers accredited a long mission to target a flyby of comet 19P/Borrelly. The spacecraft’s star tracker failed on Nov. 11, 1999, placing the comet flyby in jeopardy. Over the next 5 months, ground controllers built a brand new angle retain watch over diagram that failed to depend on the star tracker, and the flyby may presumably proceed. Deep Field 1 entered comet Borrelly’s coma on Sept. 22, 2001, and flew by its nucleus at a distance of 1,350 miles. The spacecraft supplied essentially the most detailed images of a comet’s nucleus up to that point. Having operated smartly beyond its expected lifetime and with its angle retain watch over gasoline running low, ground controllers turned off the spacecraft on Dec. 18, 2001. Its ion propulsion engine had operated for 16,265 hours, a ways longer than any old spacecraft, and supplied an whole plod substitute of three miles per 2d, essentially the most attention-grabbing carried out by any spacecraft with its private propulsion diagram.
Left: Destroy of day spacecraft image of dwarf planet Ceres. Middle: Illustration of the Psyche spacecraft one day of its bump into with the asteroid of the identical name. Lawful: Illustration of Gateway Habitation and Logistics Outpost and Power and Propulsion Ingredient the exercise of ion propulsion.
The ion propulsion technology that Deep Field 1 demonstrated has stumbled on exercise in interplanetary uncrewed missions and can stare exercise in future human lunar exploration. Launched in 2007, the Destroy of day spacecraft’s ion propulsion diagram enabled it to search out two worlds between 2011 and 2018, the protoplanet Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres, coming into orbit around each to conduct in-depth analysis not otherwise doubtless. The Psyche spacecraft, presently on its technique to search out the asteroid of the identical name, additionally makes exercise of ion propulsion. In the arena of future human space exploration, the Gateway, a part of NASA-led Artemis missions to come abet astronauts to the Moon, will establish a human presence in lunar orbit. The Gateway’s Power and Propulsion Ingredient plans to make exercise of its Advanced Electric Propulsion Blueprint to attain in lunar orbit and to retain that orbit enabling authorized astronaut visits.