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CONTOUR (Comet Nucleus Tour)

the CONTOUR probe
A Discovery Program mission that was to have taken images and comparative spectral maps of the nuclei of at least three comets and analyzed the dust flowing from them. Launched in July 2002, CONTOUR was to have flown past Comet Encke at a distance of about 100 kilometers (60 miles) in November 2003, before moving on to similar encounters with Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 in June 2006 and Comet d'Arrest in August 2008. However, it appears that the spacecraft broke into at least two pieces following the rocket burn that took it out of Earth orbit and the mission is now lost.

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   • comet and asteroid missions

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