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Target: Moon  
State: Planned

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Kind: Technology demonstrator

State: Failure

Place: Comet

Operator: NASA / JPL

Instruments: 1) Miniature Integrated Camera-Spectrometer, 2) Plasma Experiment for Planetary Exploration, 3) Ion Propulsion System (IPS) Diagnostic Subsystem,



Duration: Final: 3 years, 1 month, 24 days

Mission Ending

Disposal: Decommissioned

Deactivated: 18 December 2001, 20:00 (2001-12-18UTC21) UTC


Rocket: Delta II 7326

Kind: NASA / JPL

Manufacturer: Orbital Sciences Corporation

Mass: 486 kg (1,071 lb)

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral SLC-17A


1º Flyby: 9969 Braille

2º Flyby: 19P/Borrelly


"You’re going very fast when you’re on orbit, going around the world once every hour and a half." - Robert Crippen


"The journey, not the arrival, matters; the voyage, not the landing." - Paul Theroux

Deep Space 1 (DS1) was a NASA technology demonstration spacecraft which flew by an asteroid and a comet. It was part of the New Millennium Program, dedicated to testing advanced technologies. Launched on 24 October 1998, the Deep Space 1 spacecraft carried out a flyby of asteroid 9969 Braille, which was its primary science target. The mission was extended twice to include an encounter with comet 19P/Borrelly and further engineering testing. Problems during its initial stages and with its star tracker led to repeated changes in mission configuration. While the flyby of the asteroid was only a partial success, the encounter with the comet retrieved valuable information. Three of twelve technologies on board had to work within a few minutes of separation from the carrier rocket for the mission to continue. The Deep Space series was continued by the Deep Space 2 probes, which were launched in January 1999 piggybacked on the Mars Polar Lander and were intended to strike the surface of Mars (though contact was lost and the mission failed). Deep Space 1 was the first NASA spacecraft to use ion propulsion rather than the traditional chemical-powered rockets.