The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced a new mission to intercept a comet with a special compound spacecraft to shoot photos of it.
The spacecraft is referred to as a "Comet Interceptor." Be the first spaceship to visit a truly untouched comet or other interstellar object just beginning its journey into the inner solar system. "
The spaceship is to wait at the Sun-Earth-Lagrange point L2 about 1
First, it is a single composite spaceship. A few weeks before the comet intercepts, the Comet Interceptor is split into three separate spaceships. These spacecraft will then surround the comet and capture photos from different perspectives.
These photos are then used to create 3D models of the comet that contain "unprocessed material that survives from the beginning of the solar system."
"Original or dynamically new comets are completely unknown and provide a compelling target for exploration of spacecraft up close to better understand the diversity and evolution of comets," says Günther Hasinger, scientific director of ESA. "The tremendous scientific achievements of Giotto and Rosetta – our legacy missions to comets – are unrivaled, and now is the time to build on their successes and visit an immaculate comet or the next" Oumuamua-like interstellar. " To prepare object. " 19659003] Earlier comet missions involved all short-lived comets orbiting the Sun in less than 200 years. Comet Interceptor is aiming for the first time at a comet that visits the inner parts of our solar system. In the past, these "new" comets were discovered too late for scientists to start a mission to reach and study. However, since Comet Interceptor will be ready in space, it will be ready to hit a new comet when it is detected.
Comet Interceptor is a top-of-the-range mission implemented in just 8 years from selection to ready to launch. If everything goes according to plan, the spaceship will embark on a spaceflight in 2028 aboard the ESA spaceship Ariel, an ESO spacecraft, before turning on its own propulsion system.
(via ESA via Engadget)