Triple F—a comet nucleus sample return mission

Küppers, Michael; Keller, H. U.; Kührt, E.; A’Hearn, M. F.; Altwegg, K.; Bertrand, R.; Busemann, H.; Capria, M. T.; Colangeli, L.; Davidsson, B.; Ehrenfreund, P.; Knollenberg, J.; Mottola, S.; Rathke, A.; Weiss, P.; Zolensky, M.; Akim, E.; Basilevsky, A.; Galimov, E.; Gerasimov, M.; Korablev, O.; Lomakin, I.; Marov, M.; Martynov, M.; Nazarov, M.; Zakharov, A.; Zelenyi, L.; Aronica, A.; Ball, A. J.; Barbieri, C.; Bar-Nun, A.; Benkhoff, J.; Biele, J.; Biver, N.; Blum, J.; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Botta, O.; Bredehöft, J.-H.; Capaccioni, F.; Charnley, S.; Cloutis, E.; Cottin, H.; Cremonese, G.; Crovisier, J.; Crowther, S. A.; Esposito, F.; Ferrari, A. C.; Ferri, F.; Fulle, M.; Gilmour, J.; Goesmann, F.; Gortsas, N.; Green, S. F.; Groussin, O.; Grün, E.; Gutiérrez, P. J.; Hartogh, P.; Henkel, T.; Hilchenbach, M.; Ho, T.-M.; Horneck, G.; Hviid, S. F.; Ip, W.-H.; Jäckel, A.; Jessberger, E.; Kallenbach, R.; Kargl, G.; Kömle, N. I.; Korth, A.; Kossacki, K.; Krause, C.; Krüger, H.; Li, Z.-Y.; Licandro, J.; Lopez-Moreno, J. J.; Lowry, S. C.; Lyon, I.; Magni, G.; Mall, U.; Mann, I.; Markiewicz, W.; Martins, Z.; Maurette, M.; Meierhenrich, U.; Mennella, V.; Ng, T. C.; Nittler, L. R.; Palumbo, P.; Pätzold, M.; Prialnik, D.; Rengel, M.; Rickman, H.; Rodriguez, J.; Roll, R.; Rost, D.; Rotundi, A.; Sandford, S.; Schönbächler, M.; Sierks, H.; Srama, R.; Stroud, R. M.; Szutowicz, S.; Tornow, C.; Ulamec, S.; Wallis, M.; Waniak, W.; Weissman, P.; Wieler, R.; Wurz, P.; Yung, K. L. and Zarnecki, J. C. (2009). Triple F—a comet nucleus sample return mission. Experimental Astronomy, 23(3) pp. 809–847.



The Triple F (Fresh From the Fridge) mission, a Comet Nucleus Sample Return, has been proposed to ESA’s Cosmic Vision program. A sample return from a comet enables us to reach the ultimate goal of cometary research. Since comets are the least processed bodies in the solar system, the proposal goes far beyond cometary science topics (like the explanation of cometary activity) and delivers invaluable information about the formation of the solar system and the interstellar molecular cloud from which it formed. The proposed mission would extract three sample cores of the upper 50 cm from three locations on a cometary nucleus and return them cooled to Earth for analysis in the laboratory. The simple mission concept with a touch-and-go sampling by a single spacecraft was proposed as an M-class mission in collaboration with the Russian space agency ROSCOSMOS.

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