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Poster communications

CASTALIA : A mission to a main belt comet

G. H. Jones 1 Kathrin Altwegg 2 I. Bertini 3 A. Bieler 4 H. Boehnhardt 5 N. Bowles 6 A. Braukhane, 7 T. Capria, M. 8 A. J. Coates 1 Valérie Ciarletti 9 B. Davidsson 10 Cécile Engrand 11 A. Fitzsimmons 12 A. Gibbings 13 O. Hainaut 14 M. Hallmann 7 Alain Herique 15 M. Hilchenbach 5 M. Homeister 16 H. Hsieh 17, 18 E. Jehin 19 W. Kofman 15 L. M. Lara 20 J. Licandro 21 S.C. Lowry 22 F. Moreno 20 Karri Muinonen 23 M. Paetzold 24 Antti Penttilä 25 Dirk Plettmeier 26 D. Prialnik 27 U. Marboeuf 2 F. Marzari 28 Karen J. Meech 17 A. Rotundi 8, 29 A. Smith 1 C. Snodgrass 30 I. Thomas 6 M. Trieloff, 31
LATMOS - Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
Abstract : Main Belt Comets (MBCs), a type of Active Asteroid , constitute a newly identified class of solar system objects. They have stable, asteroid-like orbits and some exhibit a recurrent comet-like appearance. It is believed that they survived the age of the solar system in a dormant state and that their current ice sublimation driven activity only began recently. Buried water ice is the only volatile expected to survive under an insulating surface. Excavation by an impact can expose the ice and trigger the start of MBC activity. We present the case for a mission to one of these objects, to be submitted to the European Space Agency's current call for an M-class mission. The specific science goals of the Castalia mission are: 1. Characterize a new Solar System family, the MBCs, by in-situ investigation 2. Understand the physics of activity on MBCs 3. Directly sample water in the asteroid belt and test if MBCs are a viable source for Earth's water 4. Use the observed structure of an MBC as a tracer of planetary system formation and evolution.
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Contributor : Catherine Cardon <>
Submitted on : Saturday, April 25, 2015 - 9:05:06 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 2:32:02 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01145724, version 1


G. H. Jones, Kathrin Altwegg, I. Bertini, A. Bieler, H. Boehnhardt, et al.. CASTALIA : A mission to a main belt comet. AstroRecon 2015: Conference on Spacecraft Reconnaissance of Asteroid and Comet Interiors, Jan 2015, Tempe, United States. pp.6019. ⟨hal-01145724⟩



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