How many licks does it take to get to the center of a comet?

by ShadowStalker on January 12, 2005

in News,Sci-Tech

Deep Impact is a good title for a movie.  It implies action, emotional impact, and sexual innuendo.  So it’s understandable that NASA would name a project after this formulaic, boring movie.  Unless, of course, they happened to be one of the premier governmental science agencies in the world.  Then it would just be cheesy.And it is.  The Deep Impact project, which aims to collide a spacecraft with a comet (with sexy results), launched around 1 PM EST today.  I was going to link to the transcript from mission control, but it was astonishingly boring.

Apparently, we’ve never studied comets up close.  This documentary must have featured a meteor, but I think it still offers us some insight into what may happen with the Deep Impact project:

  • Steve Buscemi will get cabin fever
  • The comet, while appearing smooth, will be covered with ominous spires of mineral persuasion
  • The goggles will do nothing
  • Liv Tyler will weep for the spacecraft

Had you been geeky enough to watch the NASA website, you would have had the opportunity to have your name placed in the craft that will be plastered on the comet like James Dean on highway 46.  Which is fitting, I suppose, since you paid for it.  NASA must have decided that if they’re going to trash entire missions, it might as well be on purpose.  So why do we need to wreck a perfectly good probe to see what type of nougat lies at the creamy center of this comet?  Well, it has to do with momentum, and gravity, and alloys, and compositions, and things with molecular structures.  You wouldn’t understand.

I just hope the Heaven’s Gate cult was wrong.

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