12 January 2005

Deep Impact launches from Cape Canaveral.

Deep Impact was a NASA space probe launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on January 12, 2005. It was designed to study the interior composition of the comet Tempel 1, by releasing an impactor into the comet. At 05:52 UTC on July 4, 2005, the Impactor successfully collided with the comet’s nucleus. The impact excavated debris from the interior of the nucleus, forming an impact crater. Photographs taken by the spacecraft showed the comet to be more dusty and less icy than had been expected. The impact generated an unexpectedly large and bright dust cloud, obscuring the view of the impact crater.

Previous space missions to comets, such as Giotto, Deep Space 1, and Stardust, were fly-by missions. These missions were able to photograph and examine only the surfaces of cometary nuclei, and even then from considerable distances. The Deep Impact mission was the first to eject material from a comet’s surface, and the mission garnered considerable publicity from the media, international scientists, and amateur astronomers alike.

Upon the completion of its primary mission, proposals were made to further utilize the spacecraft. Consequently, Deep Impact flew by Earth on December 31, 2007 on its way to an extended mission, designated EPOXI, with a dual purpose to study extrasolar planets and comet Hartley 2. Communication was unexpectedly lost in September 2013 while the craft was heading for another asteroid flyby.

The Deep Impact mission was planned to help answer fundamental questions about comets, which included what makes up the composition of the comet’s nucleus, what depth the crater would reach from the impact, and where the comet originated in its formation. By observing the composition of the comet, astronomers hoped to determine how comets form based on the differences between the interior and exterior makeup of the comet. Observations of the impact and its aftermath would allow astronomers to attempt to determine the answers to these questions.

The mission’s Principal Investigator was Michael A’Hearn, an astronomer at the University of Maryland. He led the science team, which included members from Cornell University, University of Maryland, University of Arizona, Brown University, Belton Space Exploration Initiatives, JPL, University of Hawaii, SAIC, Ball Aerospace, and Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik.

The spacecraft consists of two main sections, the 372-kilogram copper-core “Smart Impactor” that impacted the comet, and the 601 kg “Flyby” section, which imaged the comet from a safe distance during the encounter with Tempel 1.

The Flyby spacecraft is about 3.3 meters long, 1.7 meters wide and 2.3 meters high. It includes two solar panels, a debris shield, and several science instruments for imaging, infrared spectroscopy, and optical navigation to its destination near the comet. The spacecraft also carried two cameras, the High Resolution Imager, and the Medium Resolution Imager. The HRI is an imaging device that combines a visible-light camera with a filter wheel, and an imaging infrared spectrometer called the “Spectral Imaging Module” or SIM that operates on a spectral band from 1.05 to 4.8 micrometres. It has been optimized for observing the comet’s nucleus. The MRI is the backup device, and was used primarily for navigation during the final 10-day approach. It also has a filter wheel, with a slightly different set of filters.

The Impactor section of the spacecraft contains an instrument that is optically identical to the MRI, called the Impactor Targeting Sensor, but without the filter wheel. Its dual purpose was to sense the Impactor’s trajectory, which could then be adjusted up to four times between release and impact, and to image the comet from close range. As the Impactor neared the comet’s surface, this camera took high-resolution pictures of the nucleus that were transmitted in real-time to the Flyby spacecraft before it and the Impactor were destroyed. The final image taken by the Impactor was snapped only 3.7 seconds before impact.

The Impactor’s payload, dubbed the “Cratering Mass”, was 100% copper, with a weight of 100 kg. Including this cratering mass, copper formed 49% of total mass of the Impactor; this was to minimize interference with scientific measurements. Since copper was not expected to be found on a comet, scientists could ignore copper’s signature in any spectrometer readings. Instead of using explosives, it was also cheaper to use copper as the payload.

Explosives would also have been superfluous. At its closing velocity of 10.2 km/s, the Impactor’s kinetic energy was equivalent to 4.8 metric tons of TNT, considerably more than its actual mass of only 372 kg.

The mission coincidentally shared its name with the 1998 film, Deep Impact, in which a comet strikes the Earth.

Following its launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station pad SLC-17B at 18:47 UTC on January 12, 2005, the Deep Impact spacecraft traveled 429 million km in 174 days to reach comet Tempel 1 at a cruising speed of 28.6 km/s. Once the spacecraft reached the vicinity of the comet on July 3, 2005, it separated into the Impactor and Flyby sections. The Impactor used its thrusters to move into the path of the comet, impacting 24 hours later at a relative speed of 10.3 km/s. The Impactor delivered 1.96×1010 joules of kinetic energy—the equivalent of 4.7 tons of TNT. Scientists believed that the energy of the high-velocity collision would be sufficient to excavate a crater up to 100 m wide, larger than the bowl of the Roman Colosseum. The size of the crater was still not known one year after the impact. The 2007 Stardust spacecraft’s NExT mission determined the crater’s diameter to be 150 meters.

Just minutes after the impact, the Flyby probe passed by the nucleus at a close distance of 500 km, taking pictures of the crater position, the ejecta plume, and the entire cometary nucleus. The entire event was also photographed by Earth-based telescopes and orbital observatories, including Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and XMM-Newton. The impact was also observed by cameras and spectroscopes on board Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft, which was about 80 million km from the comet at the time of impact. Rosetta determined the composition of the gas and dust cloud that was kicked up by the impact.

22 April 2005

The Prime Minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi apologizes for Japan’s war record.

This is a list of war apology statements issued by the state of Japan with regard to the war crimes and atrocities committed by the Empire of Japan during World War II. The statements were made on and after the end of World War II in Asia, from the 1950s to the 2010s. There is an ongoing controversy regarding the way these statements are categorized, that being the question whether they are formal apologies or general statements of remorse, each of which carry a different level of responsibility and recognition.

April 22, 2005: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said: “Japan squarely faces these facts of history in a spirit of humility. And with feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology always engraved in mind, Japan has resolutely maintained, consistently since the end of World War II, never turning into a military power but an economic power, its principle of resolving all matters by peaceful means, without recourse to use of force. Japan once again states its resolve to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world in the future as well, prizing the relationship of trust it enjoys with the nations of the world.” Address by the Prime Minister of Japan at the Asia-African Summit 2005.

17 August 2005

Forced evacuation of settlers first begins, as part of Israeli disengagement from Gaza.


The Israeli disengagement from Gaza, also known as “Gaza expulsion” and “Hitnatkut”, was the withdrawal of the Israeli army from Gaza, and the dismantling of all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip in 2005. Four settlements in the northern West Bank were also evacuated.

The disengagement was proposed in 2003 by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the Government in June 2004, approved by the Knesset in February 2005 and enacted in August 2005. Israeli citizens who refused to accept government compensation packages and voluntarily vacate their homes prior to the August 15, 2005 deadline, were evicted by Israeli security forces over a period of several days. The eviction of all residents, demolition of the residential buildings and evacuation of associated security personnel from the Gaza Strip was completed by September 12, 2005. The eviction and dismantlement of the four settlements in the northern West Bank was completed ten days later. A total of 8,000 Jewish settlers from all 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip were relocated. The average settler received compensation of over U.S $200,000.

Post-disengagement, Israel continued to exercise control over the external perimeter of Gaza, including seaports, air space, and the passage of people and goods.

21 July 2005

The London bombings occur.


On Thursday 21 July 2005, four attempted bomb attacks disrupted part of London’s public transport system two weeks after the 7 July 2005 London bombings. The explosions occurred around midday at Shepherd’s Bush, Warren Street and Oval stations on the London Underground, and on a bus in Bethnal Green. A fifth bomber dumped his device without attempting to set it off.

Connecting lines and stations were closed and evacuated. Metropolitan Police later said the intention was to cause large-scale loss of life, but only the detonators of the bombs exploded, probably causing the popping sounds reported by witnesses, and only one minor injury was reported. The suspects fled the scenes after their bombs failed to explode.

On Friday 22 July, CCTV images of four suspects wanted in connection with the bombings were released. Two of the men shown in these images were identified by police on Monday 25 July as Muktar Said Ibrahim and Yasin Hassan Omar The resultant manhunt was described by the Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Ian Blair as “the greatest operational challenge ever faced” by the Met. During the manhunt, police misidentified Jean Charles de Menezes as one of the suspected bombers and shot and killed him.

By 29 July, police had arrested all four of the main bombing suspects from 21 July attempted bombings. Yasin Hassan Omar was arrested by police on 27 July, in Birmingham. On 29 July, two more suspects were arrested in London. A fourth suspect, Osman Hussein, was arrested in Rome, Italy, and later extradited to the UK. Police also arrested numerous other people in the course of their investigations.

On 9 July 2007, four defendants, Muktar Said Ibrahim, 29, Yasin Hassan Omar, 26, Ramzi Mohammed, 25, and Hussain Osman, 28, were found guilty of conspiracy to murder. The four attempted bombers were each sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 40 years’ imprisonment.

14 February 2005

YouTube is launched.

YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. The service was created by three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim—in February 2005. In November 2006, it was bought by Google for US$1.65 billion.YouTube now operates as one of Google’s subsidiaries. The site allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to favorites, report and comment on videos, and it makes use of WebM, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, and Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos.

Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, and Hulu offer some of their material via YouTube as part of the YouTube partnership program.[6] Unregistered users can only watch videos on the site, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos and add comments to videos. Videos deemed potentially offensive are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old. In December 2016, the website was ranked as the second most popular site by Alexa Internet, a web traffic analysis company.

YouTube earns advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. The vast majority of its videos are free to view, but there are exceptions, including subscription-based premium channels, film rentals, as well as YouTube Red, a subscription service offering ad-free access to the website and access to exclusive content made in partnership with existing users.