Cryogenic Comet (and Centaur) Sample Return:
Compelling New Science vs. Technological Challenges – Part II

October 31 – November 3, 2017
California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA 91125

Workshop Overview:

During the first workshop we considered:

  1. The possibility that Centaurs might be less processed than short-period cometary nuclei and so might make preferable targets in the search for primordial matter. 
  2. The trade-offs between drilling technology and physical constraints imposed by the thermal properties and thermo-dynamical history of the target body
  3. Constraints imposed by the physics of sample return, especially the problem of sample damage caused by high g-loading upon re-entry.  
  4. How discussions on protoplanetary disks opened up the question of whether lateral and vertical mixing could have fully sublimed and re-condensed ice grains leading to cometesimals or whether primordial state is maintained during this epoch.

At the end of the first workshop the understanding was that we should explore not one but two Cryogenic Sample Return Mission (CSRM) scenarios, one to a comet and the other to a Centaur.

Goals for the second workshop are:

  1. Determine the effect of surface hardness, constrained especially by new interpretations of the Rosetta data, on sampling and drilling technology. Identify case scenarios and engineering models to address the extremes.
  2. Determine whether re-entry acceleration and/or vibration poses an insurmountable threat to some or all of the science objectives and whether or not in-situ or in-orbit analyses are therefore required.
  3. Develop plausible scenarios for (A) comet CSRM and (B) Centaur CSRM, including initial assessment of possible flight paths using existing and planned rocket technology.
  4. Evaluate and come up with recommendations regarding primitive/non-primitive status of ice grains and organics in protoplanetary disk that would become cometesimals and KBOs/Oort Cloud bodies in an evolved Solar System like ours.

Schedule Coming Soon...

List of Attendees Coming Soon...

Lodging for out-of-town attendees

There are a number of hotels (4 pages pdf, 143KB) that are close to the Caltech campus where we have a negotiated rate. (Please note that this negotiated rate does not guarantee you the lowest rate as there may be internet specials or AAA rates that may be better.)

Please note that with enough notice, you can reserve rooms for attendees at the Athenaeum, which has been recognized as a Platinum Club of America. Newly refurbished, it is conveniently located on the Caltech Campus. Contact Janet Seid if you would like to check the availability of this option.

Visa Requirements

For Visa requirement information and travel to the United States please visit the website of the U.S. Department of State.

Parking (for Visitors and for JPL Personnel)

For Visitors: From the Arroyo Parkway, turn right (east) on Del Mar Avenue. Proceed approximately one and a quarter miles. The Caltech campus will be on your right. Turn right (south) onto Michigan Avenue. Turn right into the outdoor parking lot and park in an unmarked spot. Buy a parking permit from the kiosks near the middle of the lot or request one ahead of time from KISS.

For JPL Personnel: JPLers may use their JPL hang tag for parking or request a special parking hangtag from the JPL parking office. Employees who do not have on-Lab parking privileges can obtain a hang tag created for this purpose from JPL parking coordinator Robert Kennedy (818-354-4586, Building 310-108B, 9/80 schedule). Please park in the outdoor parking lot located on Michigan Avenue in an unmarked spot.

Maps and General Information on Pasadena

Directions and Maps

Presentations will be posted here during the first week of the workshop. Coming Soon...