[PPS07-P29] Comet Interceptor mission: an overview and an expected contribution from Japan
Comets are pristine small bodies and thus provide key information about the solar system evolution. Remote observations by ground observatories have characterized various comets, while in-situ observations by spacecraft have brought much more detailed information on several comets. However, the direct observations by spacecraft fly-by or rendezvous have been limited to the short-period comets, which neared the sun many times in the past and thus lost some of primitive characteristics. The Comet Interceptor mission, led by ESA, aims at a long period comet or an interstellar object. We, Japanese team, will provide an ultra-small daughter spacecraft, whose closest approach will be less than 1,000 km, allowing the first-ever multi-spacecraft fly-by observations of a comet.