Comet Interceptor was adopted on 8 June 2022 and is now entering its development phase. It will be launched as a passenger to ARIEL in 2029.
Comet Interceptor (Comet-I) is a ‘Fast’ (F-) development mission in the ESA’s Science Program. The Call for an F-class mission was issued by ESA in July 2018. The mission was selected in June 2019, undergoing a phase 0 study in the second half of 2019 and phase A/B in the time frame Sep 2020 - June 2022.
The spacecraft and the instruments passed their Preliminary Design Reviews in June 2022. The mission was adopted by ESA's Science Programme Committee on 8 June 2022. The Industrial Policy Committee approved the selection of a consortium led by OHB as Comet Interceptor prime industrial contractor on 6 October 2022.
Image credit: Geraint Jones, UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory