Tech History Today

October 24, 1998: NASA launches Deep Space 1

NASA launched Deep Space 1, a mission that carried out a flyby of asteroid 9969 Braille on this day in 1998. 


Deep Space 1 (DS1) is a spacecraft of the NASA’s New Millennium Program. It was dedicated to testing a payload of advanced technologies. NASA extended the mission twice to include an encounter with Comet Borrelly and for further engineering testing.

The first mission of DS1 only got partial success, although its encounter with the comet retrieved some valuable information.

Deep Space-1 was the first NASA spacecraft to use ion-powered rocketry, in contrast to the traditional chemical-powered rockets. NASA kept the Deep Space series continue as it further launched Deep Space 2 probes in January 1999.