DPS Pasadena Meeting 2000, 23-27 October 2000
Session 26. Future Missions Posters
Displayed, 1:00pm, Monday - 1:00pm, Friday, Highlighted Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-6:30pm, C101-C105, C211

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[26.02] ESA's Technology Research Programme for Comet-Nucleus Sample-Return

Gerhard H. Schwehm (ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands)

The International Rosetta Mission - the rendezvous with comet 46P/Wirtanen originally had been conceived as a comet-nucleus sample-return mission. To prepare the enabling technology for such a challenging mission, ESA had initiated a number of industrial studies to address critical areas like sample acquisition and handling, anchoring in low temperature dust/ice mixtures and sample preservation and return.

We will provide an overview of these study results and discuss potential application for future missions. The results of the thermal-vacuum tests of the sample-return canister will be presented. They provided a prove-of -concept for a sample storage and return at temperatures below 120 K.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: gschwehm@estec.esa.nl

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