Unraveling the mystery of how star stuff became us
“We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
– Carl Sagan
Comet Astrobiology Exploration SAmple Return
CAESAR is a planned proposal mission to NASA’s New Frontiers Program. It would be the farthest-reaching sample return mission in history.
The spacecraft would spend its first four and a half years in space chasing down Comet 67P with one goal in mind: collect a sample from the comet’s surface and return it to Earth in pristine condition for the most extensive study of cometary material ever done.
What is star stuff?
Nearly everything you see around you began deep inside a star.
What makes comets special?
Comets are like time capsules, preserving the molecules from the beginning of our solar system and holding evidence of the origins of life.
Why bring a sample back to Earth?
Scientists can learn much more with the instruments on Earth than the ones that can fit on a spacecraft.
Feb. 5: Scientists chart the shifting colors of a comet’s “seasons” Astronomy
Jan. 21: The salt of the comet Science Daily
Jan. 20: Chemicals on Comet Comet 67P Suggest Composition Of Its Birthplace Astrobiology
Jan. 7: Dancing debris, moveable landscape shape Comet 67P Cornell Chronicle
Make your own comet with dry ice to learn about their chemistry and changing state of matter—complete with shooting jets!