Crashing Tempel 1's July 4th

Ground Control to Major Tom: Get out before you hit that comet!

If all goes well a “Deep Impact” will take place on the Comet Tempel 1 at 12:52 a.m. CDT. Here is how NASA puts it:

“Deep Impact will probe beneath the surface of Comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005, when the comet is 83 million miles from Earth. After releasing a 3-by-3-foot projectile called an “impactor” to crash onto the surface, Deep Impact’s flyby spacecraft will collect pictures and data of the resulting crater. Scientists suspect that frozen within comets are the same chemical building blocks that lead to the formation of water — and life — here on Earth.”

Frankly, I’m glad this all taking place 83 million miles away because I don’t think we are yet old hands at crashing into comets. That is unless you are talking about the Mercury car called the Comet. Deep Impact is supposed to be making a hole about the size of a football stadium. But with even with a washing machine-sized projectile it is going to be quite a bang.

I don’t know if life exists on other bodies out there in the universe. I tend to think so more than not. Just in case there are life forms out there and they can read this, I would just like to say: “Greetings from Earth. This can happen to your planet too!”

No. Seriously, we earthlings have an insatiable curiosity. And while curiosity killed the cat,(you know, furry things that go ‘meow?’)I would ask in the spirit of inter-universal harmony that you outer space dudes and dudettes not try something like Deep Impact at home. Or, more importantly, I would ask that you not try something like Deep Impact here on Earth. It might ruin someone’s day. And you wouldn’t want to do that, would you?

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