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Journal Articles Space Science Reviews Year : 2024

The Comet Interceptor Mission

Geraint Jones (1, 2) , Colin Snodgrass (3) , Cecilia Tubiana (4) , Michael Küppers (5) , Hideyo Kawakita (6) , Luisa Lara (7) , Jessica Agarwal (8) , Nicolas André (9) , Nicholas Attree (7) , Uli Auster (8) , Stefano Bagnulo (10) , Michele Bannister (11) , Arnaud Beth (12) , Neil Bowles (13) , Andrew Coates (1, 2) , Luigi Colangeli (14) , Carlos Corral van Damme (14) , Vania da Deppo (15) , Johan de Keyser (16) , Vincenzo Della Corte (4) , Niklas Edberg (17) , Mohamed Ramy El-Maarry (18) , Sara Faggi (19) , Marco Fulle (20) , Ryu Funase (21) , Marina Galand (12) , Charlotte Goetz (14) , Olivier Groussin (22) , Aurélie Guilbert-Lepoutre (23) , Pierre Henri (24) , Satoshi Kasahara (6) , Akos Kereszturi (25) , Mark Kidger (5) , Matthew Knight (26) , Rosita Kokotanekova (27) , Ivana Kolmasova (28) , Konrad Kossacki (29) , Ekkehard Kührt (30) , Yuna Kwon (31) , Fiorangela La Forgia (30) , Anny Chantal Levasseur-Regourd (32) , Manuela Lippi (8) , Andrea Longobardo (4) , Raphael Marschall (24) , Marek Morawski (33) , Olga Muñoz (7) , Antti Näsilä (34) , Hans Nilsson (17) , Cyrielle Opitom (3) , Mihkel Pajusalu (35) , Antoine Pommerol (36) , Lubomir Prech (37) , Nicola Rando (14) , Francesco Ratti (14) , Hanna Rothkaehl (33) , Alessandra Rotundi (38) , Martin Rubin (36) , Naoya Sakatani (21) , Joan Pau Sánchez (39) , Cyril Simon Wedlund (40) , Anamarija Stankov (14) , Nicolas Thomas (41) , Imre Toth (25, 42) , Geronimo Villanueva (19) , Jean-Baptiste Vincent (43) , Martin Volwerk (40) , Peter Wurz (41) , Arno Wielders (14) , Kazuo Yoshioka (6) , Konrad Aleksiejuk (33) , Fernando Alvarez (7) , Carine Amoros (9) , Shahid Aslam (19) , Barbara Atamaniuk (33) , Jędrzej Baran (33) , Tomasz Barciński (33) , Thomas Beck (41) , Thomas Behnke (43) , Martin Berglund (44) , Ivano Bertini (38) , Marcin Bieda (45) , Piotr Binczyk (45) , Martin-Diego Busch (41) , Andrei Cacovean (43) , Maria Teresa Capria (4) , Chris Carr (46) , José María Castro Marín (7) , Matteo Ceriotti (47) , Paolo Chioetto (15) , Agata Chuchra-Konrad (33) , Lorenzo Cocola (15) , Fabrice Colin (48) , Chiaki Crews (49) , Victoria Cripps (44) , Emanuele Cupido (46) , Alberto Dassatti (50) , Björn Davidsson (51) , Thierry de Roche (41) , Jan Deca (52) , Simone del Togno (43) , Frederik Dhooghe (16) , Kerri Donaldson Hanna (53) , Anders Eriksson (44) , Andrey Fedorov (9) , Estela Fernández-Valenzuela (54) , Stefano Ferretti (38) , Johan Floriot (22) , Fabio Frassetto (15) , Jesper Fredriksson (44) , Philippe Garnier (9) , Dorota Gaweł (45) , Vincent Génot (9) , Thomas Gerber (41) , Karl-Heinz Glassmeier (8) , Mikael Granvik (55, 56) , Benjamin Grison (28) , Herbert Gunell (57) , Tedjani Hachemi (48) , Christian Hagen (40) , Rajkumar Hajra (58) , Yuki Harada (59) , Johann Hasiba (40) , Nico Haslebacher (41) , Miguel Luis Herranz de la Revilla (7) , Daniel Hestroffer (60) , Tilak Hewagama (19) , Carrie Holt (61) , Stubbe Hviid (43) , Iaroslav Iakubivskyi (35) , Laura Inno (38) , Patrick Irwin (13) , Stavro Ivanovski (20) , Jiri Jansky (28) , Irmgard Jernej (40) , Harald Jeszenszky (40) , Jaime Jimenéz (7) , Laurent Jorda (22) , Mihkel Kama (62, 35) , Shingo Kameda (63) , Michael Kelley (64) , Kamil Klepacki (45) , Tomáš Kohout (65, 66) , Hirotsugu Kojima (67) , Tomasz Kowalski (33) , Masaki Kuwabara (63) , Michal Ladno (45) , Gunter Laky (40) , Helmut Lammer (40) , Radek Lan (28) , Benoit Lavraud (68) , Monica Lazzarin (69) , Olivier Le Duff (48) , Qiu-Mei Lee (9) , Cezary Lesniak (45) , Zoe Lewis (46) , Zhong-Yi Lin (70) , Tim Lister (61) , Stephen Lowry (71) , Werner Magnes (40) , Johannes Markkanen (8) , Ignacio Martinez Navajas (7) , Zita Martins (72) , Ayako Matsuoka (59) , Barbara Matyjasiak (33) , Christian Mazelle (9) , Elena Mazzotta Epifani (73) , Mirko Meier (41) , Harald Michaelis (43) , Marco Micheli (74) , Alessandra Migliorini (4) , Aude-Lyse Millet (48) , Fernando Moreno (7) , Stefano Mottola (43) , Bruno Moutounaick (9) , Karri Muinonen (55) , Daniel Müller (41) , Go Murakami (21) , Naofumi Murata (21) , Kamil Myszka (45) , Shintaro Nakajima (21) , Zoltan Nemeth (75) , Artiom Nikolajev (35) , Simone Nordera (15) , Dan Ohlsson (44) , Aire Olesk (35) , Harald Ottacher (40) , Naoya Ozaki (21) , Christophe Oziol (9) , Manish Patel (49) , Aditya Savio Paul (35) , Antti Penttilä (55) , Claudio Pernechele (76) , Joakim Peterson (44) , Enrico Petraglio (50) , Alice Maria Piccirillo (38) , Ferdinand Plaschke (8) , Szymon Polak (33) , Frank Postberg (77) , Herman Proosa (35) , Silvia Protopapa (78) , Walter Puccio (44) , Sylvain Ranvier (16) , Sean Raymond (68) , Ingo Richter (8) , Martin Rieder (41) , Roberto Rigamonti (50) , Irene Ruiz Rodriguez (46) , Ondrej Santolik (28) , Takahiro Sasaki (21) , Rolf Schrödter (43) , Katherine Shirley (13) , Andris Slavinskis (35) , Balint Sodor (79) , Jan Soucek (28) , Peter Stephenson (46) , Linus Stöckli (41) , Paweł Szewczyk (33) , Gabor Troznai (79) , Ludek Uhlir (28) , Naoto Usami (21) , Aris Valavanoglou (40) , Jakub Vaverka (37) , Wei Wang (41) , Xiao-Dong Wang (44) , Gaëtan Wattieaux (80) , Martin Wieser (44) , Sebastian Wolf (41) , Hajime Yano (21) , Ichiro Yoshikawa (6) , Vladimir Zakharov (81) , Tomasz Zawistowski (45) , Paola Zuppella (15) , Giovanna Rinaldi (4) , Hantao Ji (82)
1 MSSL - Mullard Space Science Laboratory
2 CPS - Centre for Planetary Sciences [UCL/Birkbeck]
3 Edin. - University of Edinburgh
4 IAPS - Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali - INAF
5 ESAC - European Space Astronomy Centre
6 UTokyo - The University of Tokyo
7 IAA - Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía
8 IGEP - Institut für Geophysik und Extraterrestrische Physik [Braunschweig]
9 IRAP - Institut de recherche en astrophysique et planétologie
10 Armagh Observatory [Armagh]
11 University of Canterbury [Christchurch]
12 Imperial College London
13 Department of Physics [Oxford]
14 ESTEC - European Space Research and Technology Centre
15 IFN - CNR Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie [Padova]
16 BIRA-IASB - Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy / Institut d'Aéronomie Spatiale de Belgique
17 IRF - Swedish Institute of Space Physics [Kiruna]
18 Khalifa University
19 GSFC - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
20 OAT - INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste
21 ISAS - Institute of Space and Astronautical Science
22 LAM - Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille
23 LGL-TPE - Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon - Terre, Planètes, Environnement
24 LAGRANGE - Joseph Louis LAGRANGE
25 Konkoly Observatory
26 United States Naval Academy
27 Institute of Astronomy [Sofia]
28 IAP - Institute of Atmospheric Physics [Prague]
29 UW - University of Warsaw
30 DLR Institute of Optical Sensor Systems
31 IPAC - Infrared Processing and Analysis Center
32 PLANETO - LATMOS
33 CBK - Space Research Centre of Polish Academy of Sciences
34 VTT - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
35 Tartu Observatory
36 Physics Institute [Bern]
37 UK - Univerzita Karlova [Praha, Česká republika] = Charles University [Prague, Czech Republic]
38 DIST - Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie [Napoli]
39 ISAE-SUPAERO - Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace
40 IWF - Space Research Institute of Austrian Academy of Sciences
41 WP - Space Research and Planetary Sciences [Bern)
42 Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences [Budapest]
43 DLR Institut für Planetenforschung
44 IRF - Swedish Institute of Space Physics [Uppsala / Kiruna]
45 Creotech Instruments SA
46 Department of Physics [Imperial College London]
47 University of Glasgow
48 LPC2E - Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l'Environnement et de l'Espace
49 OU - The Open University [Milton Keynes]
50 HEIG-VD - School of Engineering and Management Vaud
51 JPL - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
52 LASP - Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics [Boulder]
53 UCF | Physics - Department of Physics [Orlando]
54 FSI - Florida Space Institute [Orlando]
55 Department of Physics [Helsinki]
56 Asteroid Engineering Laboratory [Kiruna]
57 Umeå University
58 IITI - Indian Institute of Technology Indore
59 Kyoto University
60 IMCCE - Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Ephémérides
61 LCO - Las Cumbres Observatory
62 UCL - University College of London [London]
63 Rikkyo University [Tokyo]
64 Department of Astronomy [College Park]
65 Department of Geosciences and Geography [Helsinki]
66 GLI / CAS - Institute of Geology of the Czech Academy of Sciences
67 RISH - Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere
68 LAB - Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux [Pessac]
69 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia "Galileo Galilei"
70 IANCU - Institute of Astronomy [Taiwan]
71 University of Kent [Canterbury]
72 CQE - Centro de Quimica Estrutural
73 OAR - INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma
74 ESA SSA-NEO Coordination Centre
75 Wigner Research Centre for Physics [Budapest]
76 OAPD - INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova
77 Freie Universität Berlin
78 SwRI - Southwest Research Institute [Boulder]
79 SGF Ltd
80 LAPLACE - LAboratoire PLasma et Conversion d'Energie
81 LESIA - Laboratoire d'études spatiales et d'instrumentation en astrophysique = Laboratory of Space Studies and Instrumentation in Astrophysics
82 Department of Astrophysical Sciences [Princeton]
Colin Snodgrass
Michael Küppers
Hideyo Kawakita
Luisa Lara
Nicholas Attree
Stefano Bagnulo
Arnaud Beth
Mohamed Ramy El-Maarry
Sara Faggi
Marco Fulle
Ryu Funase
Marina Galand
Pierre Henri
Satoshi Kasahara
Akos Kereszturi
Matthew Knight
Rosita Kokotanekova
Konrad Kossacki
Ekkehard Kührt
Yuna Kwon
Raphael Marschall
Olga Muñoz
Cyrielle Opitom
Mihkel Pajusalu
Antoine Pommerol
Martin Rubin
Geronimo Villanueva
Kazuo Yoshioka
Shahid Aslam
Matteo Ceriotti
Chiaki Crews
Björn Davidsson
Simone del Togno
Herbert Gunell
Rajkumar Hajra
Yuki Harada
Tilak Hewagama
Carrie Holt
Stubbe Hviid
Iaroslav Iakubivskyi
Patrick Irwin
Jiri Jansky
Jaime Jimenéz
Laurent Jorda
Shingo Kameda
Michael Kelley
Masaki Kuwabara
Radek Lan
Tim Lister
Zita Martins
Ayako Matsuoka
Marco Micheli
Stefano Mottola
Karri Muinonen
Aire Olesk
Manish Patel
Aditya Savio Paul
Antti Penttilä
Frank Postberg
Herman Proosa
  • Function : Author
Silvia Protopapa
Katherine Shirley
Andris Slavinskis
Balint Sodor
  • Function : Author
Jan Soucek
Gabor Troznai
  • Function : Author
Ludek Uhlir
Ichiro Yoshikawa

Abstract

Here we describe the novel, multi-point Comet Interceptor mission. It is dedicated to the exploration of a little-processed long-period comet, possibly entering the inner Solar System for the first time, or to encounter an interstellar object originating at another star. The objectives of the mission are to address the following questions: What are the surface composition, shape, morphology, and structure of the target object? What is the composition of the gas and dust in the coma, its connection to the nucleus, and the nature of its interaction with the solar wind? The mission was proposed to the European Space Agency in 2018, and formally adopted by the agency in June 2022, for launch in 2029 together with the Ariel mission. Comet Interceptor will take advantage of the opportunity presented by ESA’s F-Class call for fast, flexible, low-cost missions to which it was proposed. The call required a launch to a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth L2 point. The mission can take advantage of this placement to wait for the discovery of a suitable comet reachable with its minimum $\varDelta $ Δ V capability of $600\text{ ms}^{-1}$ 600 ms − 1 . Comet Interceptor will be unique in encountering and studying, at a nominal closest approach distance of 1000 km, a comet that represents a near-pristine sample of material from the formation of the Solar System. It will also add a capability that no previous cometary mission has had, which is to deploy two sub-probes – B1, provided by the Japanese space agency, JAXA, and B2 – that will follow different trajectories through the coma. While the main probe passes at a nominal 1000 km distance, probes B1 and B2 will follow different chords through the coma at distances of 850 km and 400 km, respectively. The result will be unique, simultaneous, spatially resolved information of the 3-dimensional properties of the target comet and its interaction with the space environment. We present the mission’s science background leading to these objectives, as well as an overview of the scientific instruments, mission design, and schedule.
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Dates and versions

insu-04423938 , version 1 (29-01-2024)

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Geraint Jones, Colin Snodgrass, Cecilia Tubiana, Michael Küppers, Hideyo Kawakita, et al.. The Comet Interceptor Mission. Space Science Reviews, 2024, 220 (1), pp.9. ⟨10.1007/s11214-023-01035-0⟩. ⟨insu-04423938⟩
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