back to article NASA's Deep Impact mislays comet

NASA has cancelled a scheduled liaison between its Deep Impact spacecraft and Comet 85P/Boethin because the latter has disappeared without trace, New Scientist reports. Deep Impact completed its principal mission back in 2005, when it fired a 360kg probe into Comet Tempel-1 in an attempt to deduce the body's composition. It …


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  1. Anton Ivanov

    And here's what really happened on Boethin

    Dialogue on the bridge:

    Junior Officer: Your divine tentacleness, we have successfully completed the course correction. The earthlings will miss us by several million of their "kilometers". We can now safely orbit till we are behind the sun from them and switch on the main engine.

    Captain: Excellent, your appendages should be redecorated in imperial purple for this. You are an example to the entire fleet. That is the way things are supposed to be done and not the way that idiot junior officer of "Holmes" turned his main engine when facing the earhlings' planet.

  2. Ross Fleming

    @anton Ivanov

    Tch... puh-lease. They'd refer to several million of our brontosauruses in line with the Register's standard distance metrics - possibly even billions of linguine. Judging by some comments, the aliens are already here and reading these pages to monitor our ways.

  3. Tawakalna


    there's a comet called "Hartley"?

    I s'pose that Comets Topov, Octavia, and Pig are out there somewhere as well?

    If they are really comets and not alien scoutships from Zeta Reticuli! Well pointed out, Anton, on the accepted usage of the Type-37 plasma induction drive whilst in primitive planetary systems.

  4. TeeCee Gold badge


    On spotting Tempel-1 being twatted by a 360 kilo hunk of metal:

    "Sod *that* for a game of soldiers, I am so out of here".

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Do you have Comet Spotting...

    By J.R.Hartley?

  6. Anonymous John

    We lose CDs and confidental data

    NASA loses whole comets.

  7. Dam

    HOWTO: lose a Comet ; procedures courtesy of HMRC

    Need help losing something ?

    Anything ?

    Ask HMRC.

  8. Ian S

    One of our comets is missing!

    Did HMRC have anything to do with this??

  9. Slaine

    frying pan meet fire

    so there was this hunk of amalgamated frozen space debris and ice hurtling safely around the galaxy until some git decides to chuck 1/3rd of a tonne of metal at it... brilliant, NOW we THINK there MIGHT be a couple of lumps of this frozen hunk of space debris careering off in different directions because we've lost sight of it entirely.

    eh... that means that there is now an increased chance that at least one of those lumps is heading straight for us.

  10. John Macintyre


    Indeed, however if HMRC had anything to do with it at least you're pretty much guaranteed never to find it again, and if you did it would probably be in the basement of some Russian hackers or on ebay (surprised it's not up there already)...

    door's open, it's bloody cold out

  11. Mike Moyle

    @ Slaine

    Nope; two different comets:

    360 Kg anal probe - Tempel-1

    Gone walkabout - Boethin

  12. David Morgan

    Er, a bit premature with the Linear-S4 obit?

    "Comet LINEAR-S4 was discovered on September 27, 1999 ..."

  13. Peter Lenz

    The Hollywood Writers Strike

    Is the cause of this! The aliens are coming now to discover what happened during the last episode of 'Single White Lawyer'.

  14. chew6acca


    ...gone to join Dancer, Prancer, Dasher, Vixen, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen and Rudolph of course.

  15. Brian

    @ Peter Lenz.....

    A callback of a " Futurama " plot?

    I bow to your greatness.

  16. Steven Raith
    Thumb Up

    Single white lawyer?

    Single Female Lawyer, surely?

    To quote Bender:

    "Single Female Lawyer, Fighting for her clients

    Wearing sexy mini skirts, And being self-reliant "

    I'm off to watch that again. Utter genius.

  17. C
    Gates Horns

    Steve stop throwing chairs!

    Maybe someone nailed it with a few high speed chairs and changed its course.

    ... that's the IT angle

  18. Graham Jordan

    Completley off topic

    Futurama -

    Can anyone remember what episode Leila said to Fry

    "Fry, this is much more important than a marble eating contest"


  19. Slaine

    obligitory replies

    @ John Macintyre: good point - well made. NASA, however are more likely to loose the truth, not the comet.

    @ Mike Moyle: oh crap. well - it was nice knowing you guys.

  20. Rob

    RE: Completley off topic

    It was the Raging Bender episode, funnily enough I watched that one only a mere day or so ago.

    I agree, Genius

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