August 1, 2012.
On July 4, 2005, NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft successfully released an impactor into the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 in hopes of answering the fundamental question of what makes up the composition of a comet. Upon the completion of its primary mission, NASA approved a second mission, EPOXI, with a dual purpose to study extra‐solar planets as well as comet Hartley 2 using the still‐flying Deep Impact spacecraft . Today, a team of scientists and engineers are again proposing to perform a third mission – Deep Impact 3 (DI3) using the Deep Impact spacecraft. As part of the Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) initiative of the mission, the team has designed a community science program designed primarily for high school and higher education students to conduct real life – real time experiments and research. My contribution to this proposed mission consists of three components. The first component is designing a tutorial for acquiring and processing data from the DI Science Team’s archive so that students and educators can process and calibrate raw data into a final processed image. The second component is a lesson plan that uses several light curves produced from EPOCh (Extra‐solar Planet Observations And Characterization), to explore Kepler’s Laws of Orbiting bodies. The final component of my project is to design a science campaign that will take images of an astronomical object that is within the boundary conditions of the spacecraft. The purpose of the scientific campaign is to allow new data to be accessible to the general population as well as provide an opportunity to share the data with my physics students upon my return to the classroom.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013 and Grant No. 0833353. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU).