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Rapid cometary sample return enabled by low-cost, 10-gram interplanetary spacecraft

Whitepaper #377 submitted to the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032. Topics: primitive bodies; solar system formation, dynamics processes, and chronology; technology development

Published onMar 18, 2021
Rapid cometary sample return enabled by low-cost, 10-gram interplanetary spacecraft

Fleets of thousands of tiny interplanetary spacecraft, navigating using solar sails, will soon enable rapid exploration of the inner Solar System. Miniature interplanetary spacecraft that could rapidly return pristine cometary material from dozens of comets at a fraction of the cost of a traditional sample return mission from a single comet.


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