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Craft Blasts Off on Collision Course with Comet

NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft set off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday on a 268-million-mile collision course with a comet. If all goes as planned, the craft will crash into Comet Tempel 1 on July 4, creating a massive crater and releasing particles that could provide a glimpse into the origins of the solar system.

Deep Impact is actually a two-part spacecraft: a mother ship and an impactor that will break free shortly before the day of impact. A camera onboard the impactor will capture the crash and film the dust released once the comet's surface is penetrated.

NPR's Melissa Block discusses the mission with Dr. Donald Yeomans of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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As special correspondent and guest host of NPR's news programs, Melissa Block brings her signature combination of warmth and incisive reporting. Her work over the decades has earned her journalism's highest honors, and has made her one of NPR's most familiar and beloved voices.
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