• HALO
  • PrOVE

PrOVE: Primitive Object Volatile Explorer


Co-Is (alphabetical):
Tilak Hewagama, University of Maryland, GSFC Planetary Systems Laboratory

S. Aslam, F. Ch√Ęteauneuf, P. Clark, L. Feaga, D. Folta, N. Gorius, T. Hurford, M. Keidar, T. Kostiuk, T. Livengood, B. Malphrus, M. Mumma, C. Nixon, and G. Villanueva

The Primitive Object Volatile Explorer (PrOVE), a 6U CubeSat mission, would perform a close flyby of the Jupiter-family comet 46P near its Dec-2018 perihelion. The PrOVE mission would (1) investigate chemical heterogeneity of a comet nucleus by quantifying abundances of volatile species and how they change with solar insolation, (2) map the spatial distribution of volatiles and determine any variations, and (3) determine the frequency and distribution of outbursts. Such measurements uniquely probe the origin of the nucleus, and the formation and evolution of our Solar System.