Deep Space 1 (DS1) of the NASA New Millennium Program is a spacecraft dedicated to testing its payload of advanced, high risk technologies. Launched on 24 October 1998, three of twelve technologies on board had to work within a few minutes of separation from the carrier rocket for the mission to continue. The Deep Space mission carried out a flyby of asteroid 9969 Braille which was selected as the mission's science target. Its mission was extended twice to include an encounter with comet Borrelly and further engineering testing. Problems during its initial stages and with its star tracker led to repeated changes in mission configuration. While the flyby of the asteroid was a partial success, the encounter with the comet retrieved valuable information.
The interesting thing of Deep Space 1 is that it embedded RAX, the Remote Agent eXperiment which was written in Common Lisp.
More information about the RAX:
- Erann Gat on c.l.l.
- Erann Gat's "Lisping at JPL".
- Formal Analysis of the Remote Agent Before and After Flight.
- Remote Agent Experiment DS1 Technology Validation Report
- Ron Garret's Google Talk
Remote Agent is not the first use of Lisp in space. Mars Pathfinder used ANSI Common Lisp code [David Mittman, comp.lang.lisp, 21May99].