Journeying to the Building Blocks of the Solar System
Comets, asteroids, and protoplanets are remnants of the early universe that can help scientists piece together the formation of the solar system. The ESA’s Rosetta mission and NASA’s Dawn Mission are two recent expeditions exploring these vestiges. Nicolas Thomas, co-investigator of the Rosetta mission’s OSIRIS instrument, describes the surface of comet 76P and what this reveals about its formation. Marc Rayman, chief engineer and mission director of the Dawn Mission, explains what we might find at the protoplanets Vesta and Ceres.
Marc Rayman is chief engineer and mission director of the Dawn Mission at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Nicolas Thomas is co-investigator of the Rosetta mission’s OSIRIS instrument and experimental physics professor at the University of Bern in Bern, Switzerland.
Alexa Lim was a senior producer for Science Friday. Her favorite stories involve space, sound, and strange animal discoveries.