Solar System Exploration Division

Comet Interceptor (CI)




In Development


Launch Date:



The Comet Interceptor mission will involve 3 spacecraft elements working together to perform the first close encounter to a long period comet. One spacecraft will make remote and in situ observations of the comet from afar, while two other spacecraft will be deployed to venture closer to the target, carrying complementary instrument payloads, to build up a 3D picture of the comet. NASA Goddard (PI: Villanueva) is leading the development of the Multispectral InfraRed Molecular and Ices Sensor (MIRMIS), that is composed of two channels (MolCam: Molecular Camera and TIRI: Thermal InfraRed Imager), delivering near-IR spectroscopy of the comet volatile compositions (e.g., water, organics, CO2, CO) and the thermal-IR properties of the nucleus.

      Comet Interceptor Patch