Later this month, NASA is scheduled to take a revolutionary step with the launch of the New Millennium Program's Deep Space One (DS1) mission. DS1 will fly by asteroid 1992KD in July 1999 and will then be on a trajectory toward comet 19P/Borrelly (see Figure 1).
The target bodies are not what makes DS1 revolutionary, however. NASA has flown missions past comets and asteroids before. Rather, the pioneering role of DS1 is in paving the way for future, even more exciting, science missions by testing a host of new, advanced technologies that are unproven in deep space.