The British engineers recently announced their achievements and are ready to begin work on a spaceship that will chase comets and locate and map one of the celestial objects in three dimensions. According to sources, Thales Alenia Space, with three locations in the UK, has been awarded the contract to design and build the mother ship. The order comes from the European Space Agency and costs around 150 million euros. It’s related to the company’s Comet Interceptor mission.
The aim of the mission is to unlock the secrets of the early development of the solar system. Scientists are trying to find answers to questions such as how water is formed on earth. According to sources, they plan to do this by studying “pristine” comets on their first approach to the Sun.
According to reports, the mission will most likely target a comet traveling from the Oort Cloud, a band of icy debris – roughly halfway between the Sun and the nearest other star. According to scientists, the mission will “not only advance our understanding of the evolution of comets, but also help unlock the mysteries of the universe”.
As we know, comets are the remains of the formation of planetary systems. These are very similar to the Earth’s solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. Made up of ice, dust and stone, they spew out gases as they approach the sun, creating a visible “tail”.
The Comet Interceptor may remain parked in orbit for years until it catches its target comet. It is then set on a course to intercept the object deploying the two probes built by the Japanese agency. They will then make tight passes to the core of the comet and beam data back to the main ship.