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The COmet Nucleus TOUR or
mission will visit 3 comets (P/Encke, P/SW3 and P/d'Arrest), building on the
results from the Halley flybys to increase our knowledge of cometary
characteristics and diversity. The measurements will include imaging with
a resolution of 4 m, spectral mapping of the surface, and compositional
analysis of the gas and dust in the near-nucleus region. The instrumentation
will consist of an imager/spectrometer, an aft imager, a dust analyzer
and a neutral gas ion mass spectrometer. Additional Contour infomation
may be found here.
- Jul. 04, 2002 - Launch - Delta 7325 (Med-Lite)
- Aug. 13, 2002 - Injection maneuver
- Aug. 2003 - Earth Flyby
- Nov. 12, 2003 - Encke encounter
- Aug. 2004 - Earth Flyby
- Feb. 2006 - Earth Flyby
- Jun. 18, 2006 - SW3 encounter
- Feb. 2007 - Earth Flyby
- Feb. 2008 - Earth Flyby
- Aug. 16, 2008 - D'Arrest encounter
IRTF Mission Support
- Knowledge of the nucleus/asteroid sizes and rotation are needed to
plan the photographic aspects of the mission, as well as to estimate the
gravity field. The IRTF is ideally suited for obtaining nucleus parameters,
such as size, albedo and rotation, which requires simultaneous thermal IR
and optical measurements.
- Excellent models of the dust environment of P/Tempel 1 will be
needed to allow for proper protection of the spacecraft and to ensure
adequate sampling of the dust.
- Big IRTF campaign during 11/003 for Earth approach of 0.2 AU
- There is a plan for a large IRTF and optical P/Encke campaign.