The Castalia mission to Main Belt Comet 133P/Elst-Pizarro

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Title: The Castalia mission to Main Belt Comet 133P/Elst-Pizarro
Authors: Snodgrass, C
Jones, GH
Boehnhardt, H
Gibbings, A
Homeister, M
Andre, N
Beck, P
Bentley, MS
Bertini, I
Bowles, N
Capria, MT
Carr, C
Ceriotti, M
Coates, AJ
Della Corte, V
Donaldson Hanna, KL
Fitzsimmons, A
Gutiérrez, PJ
Hainaut, OR
Herique, A
Hilchenbach, M
Hsieh, HH
Jehin, E
Karatekin, O
Kofman, W
Lara, LM
Laudan, K
Licandro, J
Lowry, SC
Marzari, F
Masters, A
Meech, KJ
Moreno, F
Morse, A
Orosei, R
Pack, A
Plettemeier, D
Prialnik, D
Rotundi, A
Rubin, M
Sánchez, JP
Sheridan, S
Trieloff, M
Winterboer, A
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We describe Castalia, a proposed mission to rendezvous with a Main Belt Comet (MBC), 133P/Elst-Pizarro. MBCs are a recently discovered population of apparently icy bodies within the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, which may represent the remnants of the population which supplied the early Earth with water. Castalia will perform the first exploration of this population by characterising 133P in detail, solving the puzzle of the MBC’s activity, and making the first in situ measurements of water in the asteroid belt. In many ways a successor to ESA’s highly successful Rosetta mission, Castalia will allow direct comparison between very different classes of comet, including measuring critical isotope ratios, plasma and dust properties. It will also feature the first radar system to visit a minor body, mapping the ice in the interior. Castalia was proposed, in slightly different versions, to the ESA M4 and M5 calls within the Cosmic Vision programme. We describe the science motivation for the mission, the measurements required to achieve the scientific goals, and the proposed instrument payload and spacecraft to achieve these.
Issue Date: 15-Oct-2018
Date of Acceptance: 8-Sep-2017
DOI: https://dx/doi.org10.1016/j.asr.2017.09.011
ISSN: 0273-1177
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 1947
End Page: 1976
Journal / Book Title: Advances in Space Research
Volume: 62
Issue: 8
Copyright Statement: © 2017 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Sponsor/Funder: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council [2006-2012]
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
The Royal Society
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Funder's Grant Number: ST/H002383/1
Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
0901 Aerospace Engineering
0913 Mechanical Engineering
Aerospace & Aeronautics
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location:
Online Publication Date: 2017-09-19
Appears in Collections:Space and Atmospheric Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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