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The MPC Users' Group (MUG) invites community feedback on any issues, concerns, or questions about the MPC.


Please provide feedback on the SBN website.

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Mission Websites

Here we list links to the primary mission website as well as pages about the mission on other sites such as the NSSDC, NASA portal, etc.

CONTOUR (COmet Nucleus TOUR)

The CONTOUR (COmet Nucleus TOUR) spacecraft was launched on 3 July 2002 into a high-apogee Earth orbit. On 15 August 2002, the solid rocket was fired to put the spacecraft in a heliocentric trajectory. After the firing, contact was lost. On 16 August 2002, ground observations recorded what appeared to be three separate objects slightly behind CONTOUR's expected position. Several unsuccessful attempts were made over the next months to contact the spacecraft. The mission was terminated on 20 December 20 2002, when NASA and Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory concluded the spacecraft was lost.

CONTOUR was a NASA Discovery class mission planned to fly by two comet nuclei (2P/Encke in 2003; 73P/SW3 in 2006) and possibly re-targeted for a third flyby (6P/d'Arrest in 2008). The spacecraft was to fly by the comet nuclei with a closest approach distance of approximately 100 km and near the period of maximum activity for each comet. Scientific objectives of the mission included imaging the nuclei at resolutions of 4 m, spectral mapping of nuclei at resolutions of 100-200 m, and acquiring detailed compositional data on both gas and dust in the near-nucleus environment.


Data Sets

Pre-launch Testing

These data have been safed. Contact SBN.

Related Datasets

Use the Small Bodies Data Ferret to find other datasets for this mission/target.