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
You might also be interested in:
NASA’s Comet Nucleus Tour (called CONTOUR) launched July 3, 2002. The CONTOUR spacecraft will fly by at least two comets. It will take pictures and collect dust from the nucleus of each comet. Learning...more
We are sad to report that CONTOUR is lost in space. The CONTOUR spacecraft was launched July 3, 2002 to explore the nucleus of comets. It was to take pictures and catch dust from the nucleus of at least...more
Cassini is the name of a robot spacecraft. Cassini is studying the planet Saturn. It is also studying many of Saturn's moons and Saturn's cool rings. Cassini blasted off from Earth in 1997. It took Cassini...more
Do you know what MESSENGER stands for? It's the MErcury Surface Space ENvironment, GEochemistry Ranging mission! What does this mean? Well, the spacecraft will study Mercury's atmosphere, crust and polar...more