Status Report

Past And Future Comet Missions

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
August 19, 2022
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Past And Future Comet Missions
ISEE-3 aka ICE

We review the history of spacecraft encounters with comets, concentrating on those that took place in the recent past, since the publication of the Comets II book.

This includes the flyby missions Stardust and Deep Impact, and their respective extended missions, the Rosetta rendezvous mission, and serendipitous encounters. While results from all of these missions can be found throughout this book, this chapter focuses on the questions that motivated each mission, the technologies that were required to answer these questions, and where each mission opened new areas to investigate.

There remain a large number of questions that will require future technologies and space missions to answer; we also describe planned next steps and routes forward that may be pursued by missions that have yet to be selected, and eventually lead to cryogenic sample return of nucleus ices for laboratory study.

C. Snodgrass, L. Feaga, G. H. Jones, M. Kueppers, C. Tubiana

Comments: 38 pages. Review chapter to appear in ‘Comets III’ book
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:2208.08476 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2208.08476v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
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Submission history
From: Colin Snodgrass
[v1] Wed, 17 Aug 2022 18:35:41 UTC (10,118 KB)
Full paper

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.