Want to learn more about how the solar system was formed? So the comet is a very good channel The preliminary conclusion observed by Alma astronomical telescope is that before the existence of the earth, a disk of dust and gas revolved around the sun and gradually formed into a cluster to form a planet.
These large pieces of dust and ice move around the sun. As they approach the sun, they warm up and release gas, creating a unique tail in the process. These comets were left by the early stage of the solar system, about 4.6 billion years ago, so studying their composition will help reveal what this period might look like.
The European Space Agency (ESA) hopes to further study comets by visiting a comet with a spacecraft. By visiting a "primitive" comet, or a comet just beginning to approach the inner solar system, the agency may be able to see untouched material from the early stages of the solar system. The mission, called comet interceptor, completed its research phase. In june2022, ESA announced that it was looking for a contractor to start building the spacecraft.
Michael K ü ppers, a research scientist of the project, explained that "a comet in its first orbit around the sun will contain raw materials from the dawn of the solar system". Studying such an object and sampling this material will not only help us learn more about comets, but also how the solar system formed and evolved over time.
Comet interceptor mission is to establish a main spacecraft and two detectors, all of which will access the same target. In this way, the comet can be viewed from different angles to establish its three-dimensional image. ESA will cooperate with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to carry out the project. ESA will build the main spacecraft and one detector, and JAXA will build another. JAXA has experience with such missions, thanks to its groundbreaking mission to the asteroid dragon palace.
As for which comet the mission will visit, it depends on when a suitable choice appears. There is no fixed timetable for the arrival of comets, so the task of arranging a visit to comets is different from the highly structured plan required for a visit to a planet such as Mars, whose movement is well known. Ground based telescopes are discovering comets farther than ever before, but there is no time to build and launch the entire spacecraft between the discovery of the comet and its arrival.
Therefore, the project is to launch it into the orbit around the sun at L2 Lagrange point after completion of construction. The spacecraft will stay in this orbit until it finds a suitable comet on its way into the solar system, and then the interceptor will set out to meet it. With the development of the mission plan, the next step is for ESA to select a contractor to build the spacecraft. The plan is to launch the spacecraft together with the exoplanet Hunter mission Ariel in 2029.