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Photos: Probe, comet send fireworks for the 4th

NASA probe Deep Impact arrived on time for its explosive rendevous with comet Tempel 1.
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By Bill Detwiler on
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1 of 8 Bill Detwiler/ZDNET

The approach

Traveling at 23,000 miles per hour, a NASA spacecraft called Deep Impact successfully collided with comet Tempel 1 at 10:52 p.m. PT, July 3. This is what the probe saw sixty seconds before crashing. The picture was taken by the probe's impactor targeting sensor.

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Six seconds to impact

This image shows comet Tempel 1 six seconds before it ran over NASA's Deep Impact probe. The picture was taken by the probe's impactor targeting sensor.

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Almost there

This image from NASA TV shows shows one of the last images from Deep Impact's impactor before it arrived on comet Tempel 1.

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The crash

This image was taken 13 seconds after the Deep Impact probe hit Tempel 1. It was taken by the spacecraft's high-resolution camera as it flew by.

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It's time to celebrate

NASA scientists celebrated after their probe successfully hit the comet.

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Tempel 1

View of comet Tempel 1 from Deep Impact on June 27. The spacecraft is still about 3.8 million miles away from the comet.

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Deep Impact's path

The path of Deep Impact on its way to a July 3 rendezvous with a comet.

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Delta II rocket

Cutaway view of Delta II rocket used to launch Deep Impact aloft.

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