Comet Interceptor is part of ESA's latest mission in fast-forward. This means that the development will take place in a relatively short period of about eight years. Comet Interceptor is expected to launch in 2028 as a single compound vehicle aboard the ESA spacecraft Ariel. It will complete the final leg of its journey with its own propulsion system. As it approaches its destination, the three individual spaceships will separate for a better overview.
Comet Interceptor's mission is unique in that it will photograph a comet that is visiting the Inner Solar System for the first time, possibly from the Oort Cloud. A distant comet bubble, which is believed to surround the outer reaches of the Sun's realm. The ESA hopes to find a comet that has barely changed since the formation of the Sun and the planets. This could give an insight into the evolution of comets moving towards the center of the solar system. The agency has not yet selected its target, but recent advances in ground technology give it plenty of time to find one. In addition, Comet Interceptor can be deployed and wait in space until the right object has passed.