Kenneth P. Klaasen: "Catching Comets Up Close - Cheaply!"
|Presented By:||Caltech Committee on Institute Programs|
Comets, with their suprising appearances and magnificent tails, long have puzzled mankind. In the past year, two NASA missions conducted successful encounters with comets (103P/Hartley 2 and 9P/Tempel1). These missions, each accomplished for about 10% of the usual cost of a minimal planetary mission , returned exciting close-up images and other measurements of the comets; nuclei and surrounding comae that provide new insight into how comets may have formed, what they are made of, and how they evolve as they pass close to the Sun.
Kenneth Klaasen is with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.