This first image shows CONTOUR breezing past a comet nucleus (artist's rendition). The second image is a picture of all of the orbits involved. It shows how CONTOUR will be able to intersect the paths of the three comets.
Images Courtesy of NASA
The COmet Nucleus TOUR (CONTOUR) will be launched in 2002. The spacecraft will spend six years studying three different comets. It will take pictures of the comets' nuclei and also collect comet dust.
CONTOUR is similar to Giotto, when scientists studied Comet Halley. Scientists say we need to study comets because they will tell us more about the Earth and how it formed.
CONTOUR mission page
Other comet missions
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