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The CAESAR New Frontiers Comet Sample Return MissionThe Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return (CAESAR) mission is one of two finalists selected by NASA for Phase A study in the New Frontiers program. CAESAR will acquire a minimum of 80 grams of material from the surface of comet 67P/Churuyumov-Gerasimenko and return it to Earth for laboratory analysis. CAESAR preserves much of the science of a cryogenic sample return by retaining volatiles in a dedicated reservoir securely separated from the solid sample. Comet 67P was selected based on its favorable orbital geometry and the risk reduction and scientific context provided by the ESA (European Space Agency)'s Rosetta mission. CAESAR's objectives are to understand the origins of the Solar System starting materials and how these components came together to form planets and give rise to life. We also seek to resolve the conflicting views of comet origins arising from the Stardust and Rosetta missions. While the greater than 1 micron solids returned by Stardust originated in the hot, inner solar nebula, measurements by Rosetta suggest 67P volatiles formed at cryogenic temperatures and remained unchanged for billions of years. This dichotomy provides the rationale for returning both solid and gaseous samples.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Messenger, Scott R.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
May 21, 2018
Publication Date
May 20, 2018
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Japan Geoscience Union Meeting
Location: Chiba
Country: Japan
Start Date: May 20, 2018
End Date: May 24, 2018
Sponsors: Japan Geoscience Union
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
CAESAR New Frontiers
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