MIT Portugal Co-Director on the team selected to ESA’s new mission
MPP2030 Co-Director Zita Martins is on a team of researchers including PIs Geraint Jones and Colin Snodgrass whose proposal—“Comet Interceptor”—was selected as the European Space Agencies’ new fast-class mission in its Cosmic Vision Programme.
The mission will use three spacecraft to perform simultaneous observations from multiple points around an as-yet undiscovered comet. The researchers will then create a 3D profile of an object that contains materials from the dawn of the Solar System. “Pristine or dynamically new comets are entirely uncharted,” said Günther Hasinger, ESA’s Director of Science. “[They] make compelling targets for close-range spacecraft exploration to better understand the diversity and evolution of comets.”
Comet Interceptor concept. source: ESA