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Since HDE 226868 already answered the other parts, i might add some ideas around the question related to the quality of the research of the satellites. The best option to test this would be to do a calibration measurement before the comet passes, and one right after. This way values can be compared before the event, and right after the event. This way it ...


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I've written an answer or two dealing with this within the last week, and I can't believe I never thought about this. Great question. These spacecraft are in orbit around Mars, constantly in motion, so they can't very well just pack up and move to the other side of Mars to avoid getting hit with the dust. Believe it or not, they can just pack up and ...


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Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Society as of October 17: The nucleus of comet Siding Spring passes close by Mars on Sunday, October 19, at 18:32 UTC. Mars passes through the densest part of the comet's tail about 100 minutes later. All five orbiters at Mars will be in constant contact with the Madrid and then Goldstone Deep Space Network facilities, ...


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Short answer: Sort of Long answer: One week before the encounter, Wikipedia says no. The comet's nucleus will pass by Mars at a distance somewhere of about 139,000 km from the center of Mars - way too far for any predicted collision. The main tail of the comet, too, will most likely miss Mars by about "10 Mars diameters" - roughly 64,000 km. However, small ...



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