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  • EPOXI is a NASA unmanned space mission led by the University of Maryland using the existing Deep Impact vehicle to begin a new series of observations. It first investigated extrasolar planets and, on November 4, 2010, it performed a close approach to the comet 103P/Hartley. The new mission was originally announced on 3 July 2007 as including flyby of comet 85P/Boethin, but Boethin was too small and faint for its orbit to be calculated accurately, so the mission was subsequently retargeted for a 103P/Hartley flyby. NASA and the University of Maryland confirmed funding for the 103P/Hartley flyby in news releases issued on December 13, 2007. EPOXI combines two targets: the Deep Impact Extended Investigation, and the Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization. Deep Impact will conduct both missions, the Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization during the cruise phase to 103P/Hartley, and the Deep Impact Extended Investigation at flyby. The spacecraft was also used as a test platform for a delay-tolerant networking transmission while at a distance of 20 million miles from Earth. In December 2011, and then later in October 2012, the spacecraft fired its thrusters to target 2002 GT, near-earth asteroid in hopes of intercepting it for study in 2020.