Deep Space 1 (DS1) was a mission of the NASA New Millennium Program and involved a spacecraft dedicated to testing its payload of advanced, high risk technologies. Launched on 24 October 1998, three of twelve technologies on board had to work within a few minutes of separation from the carrier rocket for the mission to continue.
Deep Space 1 succeeded in its primary and secondary objectives including flybys of the asteroid Braille and of Comet Borrelly, returning valuable science data and images. Though on-board communications are still active, DS1’s ion engines were shut down on 18 December 2001 at approximately 20:00:00 UTC signalling the end of the mission.
But, Deep Space 1 symbolized a major revolution in the skies above us. Unmanned probes are now hurling through the cosmos in record numbers. Travelling billion of miles from Earth and carrying out longer more complex missions then once ever imagined. The probes of today will spend years in orbit sending back data on the Sun, the planets and the organic compounds that formed our universe. They owe much of this progress to one pioneering mission. Deep Space 1 tested twelve new technologies that had never been used in deep space travel. NASA and the scientific community owe much of there future and recent success to this daring pioneer of space travel.
Deep Space One