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COSAC prepares for sampling and in situ analysis of cometary matter from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Abstract : The comet rendezvous mission Rosetta will be the first mission to encounter and land on a comet nucleus. After a 10-year journey Rosetta is set for rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in summer 2014. The mission goal is: to study the origin of comets; the relationship between cometary and interstellar material and its implications for the origin of the solar system. The Rosetta spacecraft with an overall mass of about 3000 kg was launched in March 2004 and brought into cometary orbit towards comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with 4 gravity assist maneuvers. On its way Rosetta passed and observed two asteroids, (2867) Šteins in 2008 and (21) Lutetia in 2010, respectively. In June 2011 Rosetta entered into hibernation and woke up - as planned - on January 20, 2014. In November 2014 Rosetta's Philae lander and 10 science instruments will be deployed onto the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This will be followed by the first ever in situ investigation of a comet nucleus. Onboard Philae is the COmetary SAmpling and Composition experiment (COSAC), one of two evolved gas analysers that will investigate organic compounds within the material of the nucleus. Data from the COSAC instrument are expected to provide important insights into the early history of our solar system and contribute to our knowledge of small bodies that may have seeded the early Earth through impacts. In this paper we review recent developments in cometary science, including new data on target comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. We report on laboratory measurements and the calibration of the COSAC instrument as well as the preparation for operations on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
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Contributor : Catherine Cardon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 6:21:11 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, August 4, 2022 - 5:17:45 PM



F. Goesmann, François Raulin, J. H. Bredehöft, Michel Cabane, Pascale Ehrenfreund, et al.. COSAC prepares for sampling and in situ analysis of cometary matter from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Planetary and Space Science, 2014, 103, pp.318-330. ⟨10.1016/j.pss.2014.08.006⟩. ⟨hal-01060116⟩



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