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Deep Impact and sample return

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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.

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Correspondence to Michael F. A’Hearn.

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A’Hearn, M.F., Belton, M.J.S., Collins, S.M. et al. Deep Impact and sample return. Earth Planet Sp 60, 61–66 (2008) doi:10.1186/BF03352762

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Key words

  • Comets
  • sample return
  • ice
  • nucleus