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Earth Planets Space, Vol. 60 (No. 1), pp. 61-66, 2008

Deep Impact and sample return

Michael F. A'Hearn1, Michael J. S. Belton2, Steven M. Collins3, Tony L. Farnham1, Lori M. Feaga1, Olivier Groussin1, Carey M. Lisse4, Karen J. Meech5, Peter H. Schultz6, and Jessica M. Sunshine1

1Dept. of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421, USA
2BSEI, 430 S. Randolph Way, Tucson, AZ 85716, USA
3Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
4JHU Applied Physics Laboratory, SD/SRE, ZMP-3, 7707 Montpelier Rd W-155, Laurel, MD 20723, USA
5Inst. for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Dr., Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
6Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA

(Received September 12, 2006; Revised October 1, 2007; Accepted October 4, 2007; Online published February 12, 2008)

Abstract: Returning a cold sample containing the ices from a cometary nucleus has long been an unachievable goal of cometary scientists. The results from the Deep Impact encounter with comet Tempel 1 suggest that the task is much easier than previously thought. Thus a cold sample return with ice becomes an achievable goal, at least from comet Tempel 1 and plausibly from other, active Jupiter-family comets.
Key words: Comets, sample return, ice, nucleus.


Corresponding author E-mail: ma@astro.umd.edu


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