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Deep Space 1

NASA
NEW
MILLENNIUM
PROGRAM

Solar Miniature Camera and Imaging Spectrometer


concentrator The camera-imaging spectrometer package combines
arrays provide narrow-angle imaging, wide-angle imaging, and
the energy to infrared and ultraviolet imaging spectrometry into one
ionize and small instrument. For comparison, pictures will also
accelerate the be taken witha standard charge-coupled device (the
technology used in digital cameras) and a new active
xenon gas
pixel sensor, which integrates the electronics and the
fueling the ion light detector on a fingernail-sized chip.
propulsion
engine. Solar Concentrator Array
The advanced solar power concentrator arrays that
provide electrical power to the ion engine, as well as
Exerting less force than does a single sheet of paper the rest of the spacecraft, are more efficient than
resting on your hand, Deep Space 1’s ion propul- conventional solar panels and cost and weigh less.
sion system will slowly, yet continuously accelerate
the spacecraft well beyond speeds attainable by Beacon Monitor Operations
conventional chemical propulsion. What’s more, This technology may eventually reduce the need for
the engine gives about 10 times more thrust for the mission controllers on Earth to continuously monitor
same amount of propellant than do engines using the health of the spacecraft. The spacecraft’s beacon
chemical propulsion. monitor will send one of just four easily detectable
status reporting signals to Earth. The status signal
Deep Space 1 is the first space mission to rely will tell the mission controller if the spacecraft should
primarily on solar electric (ion) propulsion to reach need human intervention.
its destination. If successful, this advanced
technology will be further developed and used in Telecommunications Devices
future missions. The first of NASA’s New Millen- New low-mass communications devices include a
nium program missions, Deep Space 1 is also a miniaturized transponder (combination receiver-
platform for testing several other new technologies transmitter) that weighs just 2.95 kilograms (6.5
with the potential for greatly advancing space
exploration into the next century. Ions electrostatically
accelerated
I
In addition to technology validation, Deep Space 1
has scientific objectives. The mission plan calls for
rigorous experiments that will reliably and quickly
demonstrate the ability of the new instruments to
handle the science missions of the future.

In addition to solar electric propulsion, Deep Space


1 will test - colledted by anode
I
Electrons +
/ -

impact
atoms ‘ID ‘ID
to create ions into beam f o r
Autonomous Navigation System neutralization
Using images of asteroids and stars collected by the
onboard camera system (which is part of the In Deep Space1’s ion engine, electric power from
Miniature Camera and Imaging Spectrometer the solar arrays is used to ionize xenon gar. An
described below), the onboard navigator system electrically charged grid then acceleratesthe xenon
will compute and correct the spacecraft’s course. ions, shooting themout in a 30-kilometer-per-
Current spacecraft navigation systems rely on second stream, propelling the spacecraft in the
human controllers on Earth. opposite direction.
The diagramon the left shows current navigation techniques, while the one on the right shows Deep
Space I ’s autonomous navigation. By photographingreference asteroids againstthe background of
fixed stars, the spacecraft triangulatesto calculate exactly where it is. It then projectsits path to its
destination and usesits propulsion systemto make any needed coursecorrections.

pounds). A transponder with similar capability using Deep Space 1 launches in October 1998. It will fly by
current technology would be more than twice as heavy asteroid 1992 KD in late July 1999. The flyby will be
and cost three times as much. A high-frequency, solid- used as a final occasion to test the Miniature Camera and
state amplifier that amplifies the transponder radio Imaging Spectrometer, the Miniature Ion and Electron
signal is also being tested. Spectrometer, and the Autonomous Navigation System.
Most of the technology validation experiments will have
Microelectronics and Spacecraft Structure been done before the flyby, with manybeing completed
Ultraminiaturized electronics that consume less power during the first two months after launch.
and a multifunctional structure that integrates electron-
On September 18, 1999, the primary mission will be
ics with the spacecraft structure will demonstrate
complete. Depending on the exact time of launch and the
futuristic technologies for making the spacecraft
performance of the new technologies, the spacecraft could
smaller, lighter, and more efficient.
be left in a trajectory that would take it near Comet
Autonomous Commanding System Wilson-Harrington in January 2001 and Comet Borrelly in
September 2001, giving further opportunities for technol-
Sophisticated software programming will create an ogy validation and scientific discovery.
“agent” that can plan, make decisions, and operate by
itself, without human intervention or guidance. The The technologies tested on Deep Space 1 and other
agent also finds out when a failure has occurred, then missions of the New Millennium Program are being
decides what to do about it and whether to call for help. developed to support NASA’s vision of frequent, exciting,
affordable missions. Likely beneficiaries of these new
Miniature Ion and Electron Spectrometer technologies will be future missions to planets, moons,
This “space physics package” will help determine comets, asteroids, and perhaps even the sun.
whether space physics measurements can be made
from a spacecraft operating on ion propulsion. The The JetPropulsion Laboratory, California Institute of
insturment is one-fifth that of currently used compa- Technology, manages the Deep Space 1 mission for
rable instruments and uses about one-third the power. NASA.

For more information write to:


Deep Space 1 Education and Public Outreach National Aeronauticsand
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, MS 301-235 Space Administration
4800 Oak Grove Drive Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, CA 91109-8099 California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California
Or visit http://nrnp.jpl.nasa.gov/dsl