In an experiment every geek in the world will respect, NASA has decided to hammer a comet to bits to see how it works. I don't know but it seems a little crazy to me that NASA is using the same strategy to discover space as all the boys that bust open pens, calculators and watches.
The Deep Impact spacecraft has two components: the impact craft with its copper slug designed to deliver a “maximum wallop” to the comet, according to Rick Grammier, Deep Impact project manager at JPL, and a second flyby craft that will monitor the explosion from a safe distance. Just after the impact, the flyby craft will swing past the comet; it has only 800 seconds to collect all key data with its suite of cameras and spectrometers.
I bet there is one guy at NASA (Rick) that just goes to every meeting and says ...well lets just hit it with a hammer and bust it all to crap to figure out how it all works. Mars, (No) Halley Comet (no) hubble (maybe) poor Rick's ideas just getting shot down by ideas like lets land there and ride the comet, lets look for life, lets design very detailed observations. Poor Rick is missing out on all the fun projects.
Then one magical day.. the planning session at NASA kick off. It is Friday at 4:00. NASA is in the middle of budget cuts. All the really smart guys are driving golf carts on Mars. Rick gets his moment. He steps into the planning meeting for Exploring comet Tempel-1.
4:05 What should we do?
4:06 (Rick) Let's smash it all to hell and see what is inside...
4:08 Great. Rick you are project leader. Have a great weekend everyone!