Hospitals & Asylums    







International Court of Just-Ice

International Meteor Organization


Comet A’Hearn HA-12-1-05


Comet P/Tempel 1 v. Deep Impact Mission $3.3 million damages HA-4-7-05

                                 Orbital   Perihelion        Perihelion  Semi-Major     Orbital         Orbital     Absolute
Number & Name      Period       Date             Distance       Axis           Eccentricity  Inclination  Magnitude
9P Tempel 1            5.51 yrs. 2005-07-07    1.500 AU      3.12 AU        0.519        10.5 deg.     12.0

MISSION: Deep Impact
LAUNCH PAD: Pad 17-B Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
LAUNCH DATE: Jan. 12, 2005
LAUNCH WINDOW: 1:08:20 p.m. and 1:48:04 p.m. EST instantaneous

1. Deep Impact rocketed away at the designated moment on a six-month, 268 million-mile journey to Comet Tempel 1. Since late 2002, Tempel 1 has been slowly making its way back towards the sun. Little is known about Comet Tempel 1, other than that it is an icy, rocky body about nine miles long and three miles wide. During the late summer and fall of 2004, Tempel 1 was on the other side of the sun from the earth and therefore out of view. As the earth continues around in its orbit, Tempel 1 came back into view so that in December, several amateur astronomers were able to get images of the very dim comet.  Deep Impact project members hope that many amateurs will particpate in its observing programs. The Small Telescope Science Program (STSP) is geared toward technically proficient observers who want to take scientific data. For more casual observers there is the Amateur Observers' Program. Both will have galleries so be sure to visit often throughout the spring and summer of 2005 to check out the latest images of Tempel 1.  The launch of the Deep Impact spacecraft has been officially rescheduled on the Eastern Range for Jan. 12 from 2:39:42 p.m. (EST) on 30 December 2004 with two instantaneous launch opportunities at 1:08:20 p.m. and 1:48:04 p.m. EST.  On 1 January 2005 a news release stated that the Deep Impact Mission intends to collide with Comet P/Tempel 1 on US Independence Day 4-7-05 and expects to cause significant, but superficial, damage to the comet without significantly altering the comets orbit or creating any threat of collision with planet Earth.  Comet Tempel 1 was discovered in 1867 by Ernst Tempel. The comet has made many passages through the inner solar system orbiting the Sun every 5.5 years. This makes Tempel 1 a good target to study evo-lutionary change in the mantle, or upper crust. Comets are visible for two reasons. First, dust driven from a comet's nucleus reflects sunlight as it travels through space. Second, certain gases in the comet's coma, stimulated by the Sun, give off light like a fluorescent bulb. Over time, a comet may become less active or even dormant. Scientists are eager to learn whether comets exhaust their supply of gas and dust to space or seal it into their interiors. They would also like to learn about the structure of a comet's inte-rior and how it is different from its surface. The controlled cratering experiment of this mission provides answers to these questions. Under Art. 7 of the Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (1979) more care must be given so as not to disrupt the existing environment and a more environmentally friendly landing procedure should be developed in the future pursuant to Art. 8 of the Agreement and the spirit of the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space (1968) to uphold the Space Millennium: Vienna Declaration on Space and Human Development (1999) ratified by the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna.

2. The International Court of Just-Ice is requested by Hospitals & Asylums (HA) to pass an advisory opinion in behalf of the International Meteor Organization under Art. 107 of the Rules of the Court and Art. 36 of the Statute of the Court to ensure that the International Meteor Organization IMO and American Meteor Society AMS are registered through diplomatic channels as claimants for NASA pursuant to Art. 7 of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (1967) that states ‘every state is internationally responsible for any damage caused by objects launched by that nation into outer space’ and furthermore that these organizations are properly consulted in future experiments regarding comets and meteors with consideration for reciprocity by means of advance notice under Art. 12 of the Treaty.  Evidence appears to be insufficient to justify further delay of the launch date rescheduled for 12 January 2005 as damage is incidental to landing a pod on a Comet moving 50,000 km/hr and damage is projected to be limited to a crater the size of a football stadium.  The Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (1972) is immediately applicable and must be taken into consideration that, notwithstanding the precautionary measures taken by States and international intergovernmental organizations involved in the launching of space objects, damage may on occasion be caused by such objects.  Under Art. 1(a) The term "damage" includes property of international intergovernmental organizations and is construed in this case to include intellectual property rights of AMS and the IMO to Comets as they are the source of meteors.  Under Art. 12 of the Convention compensation liable for damages shall be determined in accordance with international law and the principles of justice and equity, to restore the international organization to the condition which would have existed if the damage had not occurred. The recommended settlement amount is $3.3 million, 1% of the cost of the Deep Impact Mission, for damages to Comet P/Tempel 1.  An advance waiver of $1 million is recommended under 14CFR Sec. 1245.104 for NASA to facilitate the exchange of scientific commentary before the 12 January launch.  The rest of the money would be forthcoming when the satellite begins transmitting data requiring dissemination by the incorporated scientists of the Deep Impact Mission, AMS and IMO.  Any surplus funds would be used to administrate compensation from the AMS Treasury for outstanding literary works on comets and meteors and $1 per meteor for amateur observers using a visual meteor observation form as set forth in Chapter 11 of Hospitals & Asylums.

3. The Deep Impact mission is a partnership among the University of Maryland (UMD), the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp (BATC). Deep Impact is a NASA Discovery mission, eighth in a series of low-cost, highly focused space science investigations.  The entire team consists of more than 250 scientists, engineers, managers, and educators. Deep Impact is a NASA Discovery Mission, eighth in a series of low-cost, highly focused space science investigations. Deep Impact offers an extensive outreach program in partnership with other comet and asteroid missions and institutions to benefit the public, educational and scientific communities. On 7 July 1999 NASA announced that Deep Impact would be launched in January 2004 toward an explosive July 4, 2005, encounter with P/Tempel 1.  Launch was originally scheduled at 2:39:42 p.m. (EST) on 30 December 2004 however the mission was delayed to allow more time for evaluation of mission software.  On 22 December 2004 the launch was rescheduled to 12 January 2005. The mission is designed for a six-month, one-way, 431 million kilometer (268 million mile) voyage. Deep Impact will deploy a probe that essentially will be "run over" by the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 at approximately 37,000 kph (23,000 mph).  It will use a copper projectile because that material can be identified easily within the spectral observations of the material blasted off the comet by the impact, which will occur at an approximate speed of 22,300 mph (10 kilometers per second.) The spacecraft will actually consist of two craft that will separate when the comet is reached. The first craft is an instrument platform that will fly slowly by the comet and record data and images of the impact, crater formation, and comet interior. The second craft is the "impactor," which upon reaching Tempel 1 will separate from the flyby craft and be propelled at 10 kilometers per second into a target site on the sunlit side of the comet. The kinetic energy of the 500 kilogram copper impactor is expected to create a large (120 meters diameter), deep (25 meters) crater and vaporize the impactor in the process. Because the impact will be spectacular and observable from Earth, the mission should be of great interest to the public and will provide a tremendous opportunity for students and others to learn more about comets, the formation of the solar system and the role of comets in the history of Earth," One of the most spectacular events in the sky is a comet's flight. However, what is known about the composition of comets has been limited to studying materials that are not pristine because they have been processed by solar heat and radiation, which alters their original state. Deep Impact will study the interior of a comet, which astronomers believe contains material unchanged since the formation of the solar system. "The mission promises to greatly further our understanding of the composition of comets and of the materials and processes that led to the formation of the planets and other bodies in our solar system," said Principal Investigator Dr. Michael A'Hearn. "Learning more about the composition of comets also should help us better understand the past history and future risks of comet impacts with the Earth." Deep Impacts telescopes aboard the Flyby spacecraft will witness the impact and return data to Earth regarding the composition of the comet based on the ejecta created from the collision. The collision with the Impactor spacecraft will form a crater in the comet, about the size of a football stadium, and as deep as 14-stories. The collision is expected to occur on July 4, 2005. The Deep Impact spacecraft is designed to launch a copper projectile into the surface of comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005, when the comet is 133.6 million kilometers (83 million miles) from Earth. the 1-by-1 meter projectile (39-by-39 inches) will create a crater that could be as large as a football field. Deep Impact's "flyby" spacecraft will collect pictures and data of the event. It will send the data back to Earth through the antennas of the Deep Space Network. Professional and amateur astronomers on Earth will also be able to observe the material flying from the comet's newly formed crater, adding to the data and images collected by the Deep Impact spacecraft and other telescopes. Tempel 1 poses no threat to Earth in the foreseeable future.

4. On July 4, 2005, the Deep Impact spacecraft arrives at Comet Tempel 1 to impact it with a 370-kg (~820-lbs) mass. On impact, a crater is produced expected to range in size from that of a house to that of a football stadium, and two to fourteen stories deep. Ice and dust debris is ejected from the crater revealing fresh material beneath. Sunlight reflecting off the ejected material provides a dramatic brightening that fades slowly as the debris dissipates into space or falls back onto the comet. Images from cameras and a spectrometer are sent to Earth covering the approach, the impact and its aftermath. The effects of the collision with the comet will also be observable from certain locations on Earth and in some cases with smaller telescopes. The data is analyzed and combined with that of other NASA and international comet missions. Results from these missions will lead to a better understanding of both the solar system's formation and implications of comets colliding with Earth.

5. The Deep Impact mission lasts six years from start to finish. Planning and design for the mission took place from November 1999 through May 2001. The mission team is proceeding with the building and testing of the two-part spacecraft. The larger "flyby" spacecraft carries a smaller "impactor" spacecraft to Tempel 1 and releases it into the comet's path for a planned collision.  In January 2005, a Delta II rocket launches the combined Deep Impact spacecraft which leaves Earth's orbit and is directed toward the comet. The combined spacecraft approaches Tempel 1 and collects images of the comet before the impact. In early July 2005, 24 hours before impact, the flyby spacecraft points high-precision tracking telescopes at the comet and releases the impactor on a course to hit the comet's sunlit side.

a. The impactor is a battery-powered spacecraft that operates independently of the flyby spacecraft for just one day. It is called a "smart" impactor because, after its release, it takes over its own navigation and maneuvers into the path of the comet. A camera on the impactor captures and relays images of the comet's nucleus just seconds before collision. The impact is not forceful enough to make an appreciable change in the comet's orbital path around the Sun.

b. After release of the impactor, the flyby spacecraft maneuvers to a new path that, at closest approach passes 500 km (300 miles) from the comet. The flyby spacecraft observes and records data about the impact, the ejected material blasted from the crater, and the structure and composition of the crater's interior. After its shields protect it from the comet's dust tail passing overhead, the flyby spacecraft turns to look at the comet again. The flyby spacecraft takes additional data from the other side of the nucleus and observes changes in the comet's activity. While the flyby spacecraft and impactor do their jobs, pro-fessional and amateur astronomers at large and small telescopes on Earth observe the impact and its aftermath, and results are broadcast over the Internet.

6. The flyby spacecraft carries a set of instruments and the smart impactor. Two instruments on the flyby spacecraft observe the impact, crater and debris with optical imaging and infrared spectral mapping. The flyby spacecraft uses an X-band radio antenna (transmission at about eight gigahertz) to communicate to Earth as it also listens to the impactor on a different frequency. For most of the mission, the flyby spacecraft communicates through the 34-meter antennae of NASA's Deep Space Network. During the short period of encounter and impact, when there is an increase in volume of data, overlapping antennas around the world are used. Primary data is transmitted immediately and other data is transmitted over the following week. The impactor spacecraft is composed mainly of copper, which is not expected to appear in data from a comet's composition. For its short period of operation, the impactor uses simpler versions of the flyby spacecraft's hardware and software - and fewer backup systems.

7. On Jan. 1 Marcia Dunn of the Associated Press wrote, “NASA Can't Wait to Smash Comet-Busting Spacecraft” CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Jan. 1) - The big, grown-up boys on the NASA team can hardly wait. Next Fourth of July, they get to bust up a comet, Hollywood-style. Blow things up? I'm there. Yeah, I don't have any issue with that," says Richard Grammier, manager of the project for Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (And, oh yeah, he used to work with explosives in the military.) The spacecraft is called Deep Impact just like the 1998 movie about a comet headed straight for Earth. NASA's goal is to blast a crater into Comet Tempel 1 and analyze the ice, dust and other primordial stuff hurled out of the pit.  Mission planners say the energy produced will be like 4.5 tons of TNT going off - producing a fireworks display for the world's observatories.


8. Scientists know little about comets and even less about their nuclei, or cores. They believe that penetrating the interior for observations by space and ground telescopes is the next best thing to actually landing, scooping up samples and delivering them to Earth.

"A sample return would be the ultimate, but this is one exciting mission because for the first time we're actually reaching out and we're going to create our own crater," says Donald Yeomans, a senior research scientist at JPL in California - and an adviser on the movie.

"We'll understand how the comet is put together, its density, its porosity, whether it has a surface crust and underlying ices, whether it's layered ice, whether it's a wimpy comet or whether it's a rock-hard ice ball. All of these things will become apparent after we smack it."

9. Astronomers are counting on Deep Impact to live up to its Hollywood name on July 4, six months after its mid-January launch.  This is one spacecraft NASA wants to smash and trash.

"It would be like it's standing in the middle of the road and this huge semi coming down at it at 23,000 mph, you know, just bam!" Grammier says.

10. If all goes well, Deep Impact will be the first spacecraft to touch the surface of a comet. NASA's Stardust spacecraft - on its way back to Earth with dust from Comet Wild 2 - flew through the coma, or dusty gas cloud. Deep Impact will have traveled 268 million miles from the time it is launched aboard an unmanned rocket until it intersects with Comet Tempel 1 just beyond the orbit of Mars, at a point more than 80 million miles from Earth.  Liftoff is targeted for Jan. 12, two weeks late because of software and rocket problems. NASA has until Jan. 28 to launch Deep Impact. After that, Tempel 1 will be beyond rocket reach and scientists will have to pick another comet and swallow a lengthy delay.  That's what happened to the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, which will attempt a controlled landing on a comet, but not until 2014.  Deep Impact, by contrast, will provide "instant gratification," says Grammier. The entire $330 million mission should be wrapped up a month after impact.  Comet Tempel 1 is ideal from a scientific and demolition perspective.  It's a typical comet - all the better for scientific analysis - yet has a large nucleus and weak coma, all the easier for the impactor to survive the dusty obstacle course and to nail the nucleus. Grammier says the latest calculations put the chance of the impactor missing its target at less than 1 percent. The automatic navigation software has already been tested in space; this will be a fancier version of what successfully flew on NASA's Deep Space 1, a testbed spacecraft launched in 1998, and Stardust, the earlier comet spacecraft.

"We all feel pretty comfortable with that (the odds), but as we've all said before, we're doing something we haven't done before," Grammier says.

11. NASA guarantees that no matter how powerful the punch or how big the crater, Deep Impact will barely alter the comet's orbital path around the sun and will not - repeat, not - put the comet or any part of it on a collision course with Earth. Yeomans calculates that to move Tempel 1 or a piece of it into an Earth-intersecting orbit, the impactor would have to be 6,000 times more massive than what will shoot out of the mothership on July 3. The very next day, the 820-pound impactor will strike at the heart of the comet, creating one awesome Fourth of July display.  By celestial standards, the crater that is formed - anywhere from the size of a house to Rome's Coliseum, and from two to 14 stories deep - should be just a dent. Besides, comets get bombarded with stuff all the time; they're pockmarked with craters and cliffs.

"You've got an object the size of a bushel basket running into an object that's 9 miles in length, so we're not going to do any real damage to the comet," Yeomans says.

12. Some scientists, however, contend the comet will shatter into several pieces. Others hypothesize that Deep Impact will create a crater but shove everything in, with hardly anything or nothing ejected.

"It is the uncertainty in the predictions - or the wide range of predictions - that make it particularly important to do this conceptually very simple experiment," says the University of Maryland's Michael A'Hearn, the mission's chief scientist.

13. Whatever the outcome, scientists expect to learn something about deflecting a killer comet - or possibly an asteroid - if one ever happens Earth's way. Comets, after all, have hit Earth before and are thought to have brought water with them.  Another practical benefit of the mission: By knowing what's inside comets, NASA would be better able to use them in the future as watering holes and fueling stations. Robots or astronauts, for instance, could break the comet's water down into its basic elements, hydrogen and oxygen, the ingredients for rocket fuel. Then there is all the scientific knowledge to be gained from studying comets, essentially giant dirty snowballs circling the sun.  Formed the same time as the planets 4.5 billion years ago, comets are considered the leftover building blocks of the solar system. When the comets periodically swing close by the sun, their surfaces heat up and change, and so only their interiors preserve cosmic-origin clues.

14. The impactor - composed mainly of a 317-pound solid copper disk - will maneuver itself in the oncoming path of the comet and, in essence, get run over by the comet. The relative speed at the moment of the collision will be 23,000 mph, enough to vaporize the impactor.  Copper was chosen because, like gold and silver, it does not react with water and will not taint the observations, and it is much cheaper.  A camera on the impactor will photograph the comet and beam back the pictures, almost all the way up until the moment of destruction. A pair of cameras on the mothership - flying by at a safe 300 miles - will document the actual strike and the ensuing eruption and crater, and send back all the images.

"We expect to provide great fireworks for all our observatories," Grammier says, "and that's exciting to do it on July Fourth."


15. In conclusion and as a preliminary investigation to the Summer Solstice 2005 revision of the Chapter 11 the implementation of the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (1975) shall be reviewed for compliance.  Believing that a mandatory system of registering objects launched into outer space would, in particular, assist in their identification and would contribute to the application and development of international law governing the exploration and use of outer space.  Under Art. 2 When a space object is launched into earth orbit or beyond, the launching State shall register the space object and inform the Secretary General of the United Nations who under Art. 3 keeps an international registry of such space objects, launching states and orbital parameters.  The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs undertakes to maintain this registry.  The US Registry of Objects Launched into Outer Space is maintained by the Space and Advanced Technology (SAT) staff.


Certificate of Service : Sunday 2 January 2005,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,  


16. The Advisory Opinion of 6 January 2005 renames Comet P/Tempel 1 to Comet A’Hearn in honor of the Principal Investigator of the Mission Dr. Michael A'Hearn.


17. DEEP NEWS,Newsletter for the Deep Impact mission Issue #18, January 2005.  The Deep Impact mission team is making final preparations for the launch of the twin spacecraft that will travel to Comet Tempel 1. The Deep Impact mission is a partnership among the University of Maryland (UMD), the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp (BATC). Deep Impact is a NASA Discovery mission, eighth in a series of low-cost, highly focused space science investigations.  Educators from across the country are making their way to Kennedy Space Center for a winter science workshop on Deep Impact and comets. Armed with hands-on activities and new information on comet science and astronomy, these new members of the Deep Impact outreach effort will head back to prepare students for the July 2005 encounter with Comet Tempel 1. One of the spacecraft, a "smart" impactor, will collide with Tempel 1 to create a crater the size of a football stadium exposing material that will tell us more about the formation of the solar system. The Deep Impact spacecraft moves to the launch pad and into the Delta II rocket in preparation for launch. Comet Tempel 1 is heading toward our point of encounter for July 2005. It will meet our twin spacecraft there as one makes a crater in its surface and the other one watches and sends images and data back to Earth.

Mission Website: or
Multimedia Gallery:
Comet Tempel 1 Foto: 
Mission Update: 
Biography of Kavita Kaur: 
Deep News Archive: 
Discovery Program:


Discovered only last year, Comet Machholz is now soaring through the sky, visible in binoculars and dimly apparent to the naked eye. From now until Jan. 15 is a prime time to view the comet without the glare of the moon, but it will be visible for the entire month of January 2005.


Organic Law HA-10-1-05

Alpha Centauri System HA-12-3-05

Metric Imperial Conversion Table HA-6-1-05



Watching “Gravity” again recently with some friends made me realize what little they - all grown adults, obviously - actually know about astronomy.  Some of them feel uncomfortable and nervous because of how big and mysterious it is for them.  This got me excited about putting together some fun resources on the theme of space. And so I did!

I’ve hand selected a few that I think will help add to the resources you already have on your page ( ), and I invite you to share them there for an extra boost of awesome! 


Astronomy Books for Adults

Aerospace History: the Space Shuttle

The Moon: A Resource Guide

The Exploratorium Observatory

Physics Calculations


I hope these are useful to you and your visitors!


All the best,