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Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 7:00pm
Klarman Hall, KG70 Auditorium Space Sciences Building
The CAESAR Comet Sample Return Mission
A Public Lecture by Principal Investigator Steve Squyres
The Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return (CAESAR) mission is one of two finalists for NASA’s program of billion-dollar "New Frontiers" missions. If selected, CAESAR will acquire and return to Earth for laboratory analysis a sample of surface material from the nucleus of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, also called 67P. Comets are the most primitive building blocks of our solar system. Retrieving a sample from the surface of comet 67P can provide unparalleled knowledge about pre-solar history, planet formation, and the steps that led to the origin of life. The next four months are a critical time for the CAESAR team. Led by Cornell Professor Steve Squyres, they will refine the hardware, software and mission design necessary to convince NASA to select CAESAR as the next mission in the New Frontiers program.