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Deep Space 1

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. 12 advanced, high-risk technologies in space
3. NASA Glenn Research Center
4. Deep Space 1 fly-by
5. Results
6. Conclusion
7. Bibliography

The paper discusses the functioning of Deep Space 1. Basically, the testing of 12 advanced technologies and the fly-by of the spacecraft is in the focus of the attention of the paper. At the same time, a brief historical review of the NASA Glenn Research Center provides an opportunity to better understand that Deep Space 1 is the product of a hard work of different generations of scientists, while technologies tested are extremely important to the further development of spacecrafts and space exploration

The research of the space was traditionally one of the major priorities of leading countries of the world. No wonder that the US also focuses on the development of programs targeting at the research of the space. Moreover, at the present moment the US achievements in this field are really impressive and this country occupies the leading position in the world in regard to the exploration of space.
At the same time, it is worthy of mention that, to a significant extent, the recent successes of the US researches are predetermined by the successful implementation of new technologies and the creation of newest spacecrafts. In this respect, it is necessary to underline that the spacecraft named Deep Space 1 was one of the most successful projects launched by NASA within the last decade. Even though Deep Space has already stopped its functioning the achievements of its mission were extremely significant because due to Deep Space 1 12 newest technologies were successfully tested in space and, it is necessary to underline that practically all tests were quite risky since as some specialists estimate almost anything on Deep Space 1 might go wrong (4). Anyway, Deep Space 1 provide an excellent example of successful use of modern spacecrafts for the research of space and testing the most sophisticated technologies, which often cannot be fully tested on the Earth. This is why it is extremely important to trace the history of Deep Space 1, its achievements and results of work, in order to fully understand the significance of such project for the further scientific researches.
12 advanced, high-risk technologies in space
Basically, one of the major objectives of Deep Space 1 was to test new advanced technologies in space and the fulfillment of this mission was extremely important. It should be pointed out that the tests were quite complicated because the technologies tested were really innovative and there had been no other similar tests of these technologies before. Nevertheless Deep Space 1 managed to test 12 advanced technologies that may be considered the great success of its mission.
Speaking about the technologies tested, it is primarily necessary to name solar electric propulsion. It should be said that the basic goal of the test of solar electric propulsion was to assess the effectiveness of the NSTAR ion thruster developed at NASA. It turned out that it can achieve better results compared to traditional space propulsion methods that could naturally contribute to mass savings of approximately half (6) that was and still is extremely important in the conditions of space flights and space research because the weight is extremely important to space crafts since it can dramatically limit the distance and time of space expeditions. Moreover, the successful test of solar electric propulsion that proved its effectiveness contributes to its wider implementation that can make cheaper launch vehicles.
It is also necessary to underline that Deep Space 1 successfully tested the Solar Concentrator Arrays. It should be said that powering of the engine of Deep Space 1 was the SCARLET (Solar Concentrator Array of Refractive Linear Element Technologies) solar arrays. The SCARLET combined with more efficient, dual-junction cells, turned to be able to generate 2.5 kilowatts with less size and weight than conventional arrays.
Furthermore, it should be said that Deep Space 1 successfully used Autonomous navigation system which provided the opportunity to the spacecraft to determine its position by tracking asteroids across the star background. At the same time, the system made it possible to track the position of space objects in relation to the spacecraft. This technology may be actually used to acquire targets for the scientific instruments (3).
It should be said that Deep Space 1 also used other absolutely innovative technologies, such as the Remote Agent which was the first artificial intelligence control system used to control the spacecraft without human supervision. The tests conducted due to Deep Space 1 proved the fact that the Remote Agent does have the ability to plan onboard activities and correctly diagnose and respond to faults in the spacecraft components.
The functioning of Deep Space 1 also provided an opportunity to test the Beacon Monitor Operations. During the long cruise period of the mission, the spacecraft operations are essentially suspended. Due to the use of the Beacon Monitor the spacecraft emits the carrier signal on a predetermined frequency. In the results of the tests, it was found out that the Beacon Monitor can function effectively and if the spacecraft detects an anomaly, it changes the carrier between four tones, based on urgency. As the carrier may be detected by much simpler ground antennas and receivers, the signal operators ca divert DSN resources that prevents skilled operators and expansive hardware from babysitting an unburdened mission operating nominally.
The Small Deep Space Transponder was also successfully tested due to Deep Space 1. In actuality, it was a compact radio communications system which improves the effectiveness of communication compared to traditional means of communication used in the past. Aside from using miniaturized components, the Small Deep Space Transponder turned to be capable of communicating over the Ka band which was also successfully tested by Deep Space 1 and proved its efficiency compared to conventional means. The main advantage of the Ka band is quite obvious. Since this band is higher in frequency than conventional bands, the same amount of data can be sent by smaller equipment in space and on the ground.
Furthermore, it should be said that Deep Space 1 turned to be able to function efficiently, not in the last turn, due to the use of the Plasma Experiment for Planetary Exploration (PEPE). Once at a target, Deep Space 1 sensed the particle environment with the PEPE instrument. It mapped the objects with the MICAS (Miniature Integrated Camera and Spectrometer) imaging channel, and discerned chemical composition with infrared and ultraviolet channels. All channels shared a 10 centimeter telescope which used a silicon carbide mirror.
Also, it is worthy of mention that several other technologies were also successfully tested due to the use of Deep Space 1. among these technologies may be named Low Power Electronic, Power Actuation and Switching Module, which basically targeted at the minimization and more effective use of power by the spacecraft and which actually proved their efficiency, as well as the Multifunctional Structure applied to Deep Space 1 did, which testing was also extremely important because it was a really innovative structure that was characterized by the capability to fulfill a variety of functions practically autonomously.
In such a way, Deep Space 1 provided an opportunity to test the new advanced technologies.
NASA Glenn Research Center
Basically, all the achievements of the mission of Deep Space 1 were the result of work of NASA Glenn Research Center which actually prepared this project and successfully realized it. Initially the Glenn Research Center was established in 1942 as a part of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and was later incorporated into the NASA as a laboratory for spacecrafts engine research. Throughout its history it has changed its name several times being initially the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory, after funding approval was given in 1940. Later it was renamed the Flight Propulsion Research Laboratory in 1947. Than, in 1958, it became the NASA Lewis Research Center and, finally, in 1999, the NASA Lewis Research Center was officially renamed the NASA Glenn Research Center.
Obviously, the NASA Glenn Research Center has achieved really great result. It should be said that it is due to the work of the center the development and the realization of the project of the Deep Space 1 was successfully implemented. The vast majority of the equipment and new technologies were developed in this center and the advanced technologies that were tested by Deep Space 1 were also the product of the NASA Glenn Research Center.
Nevertheless, the achievements of the NASA Glenn Research Center are not limited by the technologies developed for and tested by Deep Space 1 only. In fact, the NASA Glenn Research Center developed various technologies and equipment that were largely used by NASA in different programs. In this respect, it is worthy of mention that the liquid hydrogen rocket engine was developed by the Glenn Research Center. It should be said that specialists underline that this rocket engine was credited as being the critical technology leading to the Apollo moon landing (4). Furthermore, the Glenn Research Center also developed the famous Centaur Upper Stage Rocket. Also, it should be said that the technologies developed for Deep Space 1 are considered to be among the greatest achievements of the Glenn Research Center but, the center has not stopped its work. Instead, nowadays, it keeps progressing and among its most recent achievements may be named the development of the Electrical Power System for Space Station Freedom, which, except for minor modifications, is currently used on the International Space Station. This is why it is possible to estimate that the Glenn Research Center continues its traditions of the development of advanced and sophisticated technologies which contribute substantially to the exploration of the space and increase the efficiency of space flights and functioning of equipment in the space. This filed is obviously extremely perspective for the further development that makes it possible to speak about good perspectives of the future progress of the Glenn Research Center.
Deep Space 1 fly-by
Obviously, the mission of Deep Space 1 may be considered to be quite successful since it provided the opportunity to test the 12 advanced technologies discussed above, but this was not the only success or achievement of Deep Space 1. In fact, it is necessary to underline that a substantial part of the general success of Deep Space 1 was predetermined by the spacecraft fly-by.
In this respect, it should be said that Deep Space fly-by was associated with the fly-by asteroid of Braille and the comet of Borelly. However, it is necessary to underline that the fly-by of Braille was only partial success. Initially, Deep Space 1 was intended to perform the fly-by at 56,000 km/h at only 240 meters from the asteroid, but, due to technical difficulties, including a software crash shortly before approach, the spacecraft instead passed Braille at a distance of 26 km. This fact, along with the asteroid’s lower albedo, meant that Braille was not bright enough for the autonomous navigation to focus the camera in the right direction, and the picture shoot was delayed by almost an hour. As a result, the pictures received were disappointingly indistinct.
In stark contrast to the fly-by of Braille, the fly-by of the comet Borrelly was a great success and returned extremely detailed images of the comet’s surface. These images were of a higher resolution than the only previous pictures taken by other spacecrafts, such as Giotto. Moreover, the PEPE instrument reported that the comet’s fields were offset from the nucleus. This is believe to be due to the emission of jets, which were not distributed evenly across the comet’s surface.
Despite the fact that Deep Space 1 had no debris shields, the spacecraft survived the comet passage intact. However, Deep Space 1 could not function for a long time after the fly-by of the comet Borrelly. Even though the sparse comet jets did not appear to point towards the spacecraft, Deep Space 1 eventually went dead when it ran out of hydrazine fuel for its steering thrusters. Without these thrusters, the spacecraft could not maintain the pointing of its solar arrays toward the Sun and, thus, the future of Deep Space 1 was determined. As a result, NASA decided not to pursue a further extended mission after the Borrelly encounter, and on December 18, 2001, Deep Space 1 was switched off and left to orbit the Sun. In such a way, the active history of this spacecraft ended.
Unquestionably, despite certain problems that Deep Space have faced while fulfilling its mission, the general results of the functioning of this spacecraft may be assessed positively. On analyzing the results of work of Deep Space 1, it should be pointed out that the spacecraft provided important information about the comet Borrelly in the result of the successful fly-by. However, this fly-by provided not only distinct pictures of the comet but it also provided an opportunity to test the equipment and practice the fly-by at large.
At the same time, it should be said that the testing of new technologies was also of a paramount importance and may be viewed as major achievements of Deep Space 1. In this respect, it should be said that even though the ion propulsion engine initially failed after 4.5 minutes of operation, but it was later restored to action and performed excellently (2).
Furthermore, it was thought that the ion exhaust might interfere with other spacecraft systems, such as radio communications or the science instruments. The PEPE detectors had a secondary function to monitor such effects from the engine and, fortunately, no such interferences were found.
However, there was another failure when the star tracker was lost. The star tracker determines spacecraft orientation by comparing star fields to its internal charts. The mission was saved when the MICAS camera was reprogrammed to stand in for the star tracker. In such a way, this problem was successfully solved demonstrating the effectiveness of technologies applied in Deep Space 1. Nonetheless, it is worthy of mention that although MICAS camera is more sensitive, its field-of-view is an order of magnitude smaller, creating a higher processing burden. Ironically, the star tracker was an off-the-shelf component that was expected to be highly reliable.
Also, it should be said that the Autonomous navigation system required some manual corrections, mostly for problems with identifying of objects which were not bright enough or were difficult to identify because of the interference of light. Objects within the field generated spurious reflections into the instrument. Furthermore, MICAS was a great design success but it also had certain problems as the ultraviolet channel failed due to an electrical fault.
However, regardless certain problems the results of tests and functioning of Deep Space 1 were very important and useful since they provided scientists not only with important information but also with essential experience. In such a situation, even the failures of the mission turned to be useful as they enlarged the scientists’ experience and knowledge. Obviously, this experience was worthy of the budget of the mission which total cost approaches $150 million, including almost $95 million of development cost (5).
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that Deep Space 1 was an extremely important project that contributed greatly to the enlargement of human knowledge about space and spacecrafts effective functioning. It also provided an opportunity to test 12 advanced and new technologies which reliability was tested in the conditions of space flight. At the same time, it was not the only success of Deep Space 1. It is necessary to underline that the fly-by of the comet Borrelly was another major success of the mission even though it was the last one.

1. NASA Report, Deep Space 1 Launch Press Kit. Accessed at: http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/files//misc/ds1launchq.pdf. -right click to download pdfs!
2. NASA Report, The successful conclusion of the Deep Space 1 Mission: important results without a flashy title. Accessed at: http://techreports.jpl.nasa.gov/2002/02-2512.pdf. -right click to download pdfs!
3. NASA Report, Deep Space One: Preparing for Space Exploration in the 21st Century. Accessed at: http://techreports.jpl.nasa.gov/1998/98-1347.pdf. -right click to download pdfs!
4. NASA Report, Deep Space 1 Fact Sheet. Accessed at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/fact_sheets/ds1.pdf. -right click to download pdfs!
5. NASA Report, Deep Space 1 Asteroid Flyby Press Kit. Accessed at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/press_kits/ds1asteroid.pdf. -right click to download pdfs!
6. NASA Report, Deep Space 1 flight experience: adventures on an ion drive. Accessed at: http://techreports.jpl.nasa.gov/2002/02-0276.pdf. -right click to download pdfs!


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