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AMBITION – comet nucleus cryogenic sample return

D. Bockelée-Morvan 1 Gianrico Filacchione 2 Kathrin Altwegg 3 Eleonora Bianchi 4 Martin Bizzarro 5, 6 Jürgen Blum 7 Lydie Bonal 4 Fabrizio Capaccioni 2 Mathieu Choukroun 8 Claudio Codella 4, 9 Hervé Cottin 10 Björn Davidsson 8 Maria Cristina de Sanctis 2 Maria Drozdovskaya 11 Cécile Engrand 12 Marina Galand 13 Carsten Güttler 14 Pierre Henri 15, 16 Alain Herique 4 Stavro Ivanoski 17 Rosita Kokotanekova 18 Anny Chantal Levasseur-Regourd 19 Kelly E. Miller 20 Alessandra Rotundi 2, 21 Maria Schönbächler 22 Colin Snodgrass 23 Nicolas Thomas 3 Cecilia Tubiana 14, 2 Stefan Ulamec 24 Jean-Baptiste Vincent 25
Abstract : We describe the AMBITION project, a mission to return the first-ever cryogenically- stored sample of a cometary nucleus, that has been proposed for the ESA Science Programme Voyage 2050. Comets are the leftover building blocks of giant planet cores and other planetary bodies, and fingerprints of Solar System’s formation pro- cesses. We summarise some of the most important questions still open in cometary science and Solar System formation after the successful Rosetta mission. We show that many of these scientific questions require sample analysis using techniques that are only possible in laboratories on Earth. We summarize measurements, instrumen- tation and mission scenarios that can address these questions. We emphasize the need for returning a sample collected at depth or, still more challenging, at cryogenic tem- peratures while preserving the stratigraphy of the comet nucleus surface layers. We provide requirements for the next generation of landers, for cryogenic sample acqui- sition and storage during the return to Earth. Rendezvous missions to the main belt comets and Centaurs, expanding our knowledge by exploring new classes of comets, are also discussed. The AMBITION project is discussed in the international context of comet and asteroid space exploration.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03298830
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D. Bockelée-Morvan, Gianrico Filacchione, Kathrin Altwegg, Eleonora Bianchi, Martin Bizzarro, et al.. AMBITION – comet nucleus cryogenic sample return. Experimental Astronomy, Springer Link, 2021, ⟨10.1007/s10686-021-09770-4⟩. ⟨insu-03298830v2⟩

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