Five years ago today — January 12, 2005 — the Deep Impact probe launched atop a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral, on its way to a rendezvous with comet Tempel 1.
(Deep Impact launch. Kennedy Space Center/Elizabeth Warner photo, from NASA/University of Maryland mission site.)
The spacecraft flew by the comet on July 4, 2005, and released an “impactor” that struck the comet to help determine its composition. (More on that when that anniversary comes around.)by