UK scientists prepare to build comet-chasing spacecraft to launch in 2028- Technology News, Firstpost

Engineers in Britain will soon be working on a spacecraft that will chase comets, track them and map the celestial objects in three dimensions. According to a report by The Guardian, the mission involves three spaceships designed to work together. The base ship will be built in the UK by Thales Alenia Space and will hold two smaller robotic probes from Japan, which can be released when very close to the comet for extremely close overflights. The probes will then transmit images and other data to the mother ship.

Comet Interceptor has been chosen as ESA’s new fast-track mission. It will be the first spacecraft to visit a truly untouched comet or other interstellar object that is just beginning its journey into the inner Solar System. Image credit: ESA

Speaking about the development of the comet hunter, Andrew Stanniland, CEO of Thales Alenia Space, said it will be fascinating. He added that the mission will allow scientists to know about the history of the solar system like never before seen.

In press release, Günther Hasinger, ESA’s Scientific Director said, “Giotto and Rosetta’s huge scientific achievements – our hereditary missions to comets – are worthless, but now it’s time to build on their successes and visit an untouched comet, or be prepared for the next Oumuamua-like interstellar object. ”

According to the report, the spacecraft, officially known as the Comet Interceptor will launch in 2028 and will go to gravity nowhere on the opposite side of the Earth to the sun. It will wait there until astronomers spot a suitable target to explore. The Interceptor could look at any number of celestial bodies from the Oort cloud comets to the interstellar cigar-shaped asteroid Oumuamua.

La Comet Interceptor a mission was chosen by the European Space Agency (ESA) in June 2019 to combine progress in comet discoveries, with a compact and agile spacecraft that can reveal to scientists a large amount of untouched comet entering the inner Solar System for the first time. time. The Interceptor will also be able to encounter any interstellar object passing through the solar system if found in a suitable trajectory.