Geo- and Cosmochemistry


mission to asteroid Phaethon


The foundation professorship "Analytical and theoretical Cosmochemistry" is part of the scientific consortium of the Destiny+ mission to asteroid Phaethon – a joint project of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

The main instrument is a dust detector designed to investigate the source and composition of interplanetary and interstellar dust particles.

Main mission target is the asteroid 3200 Phaethon which comes very close to Earth and the Sun, depositing dust along the way. The detector on board the Destiny+ probe can directly measure the composition of the tiniest particles from the Phaethon dust cloud, thereby elucidating the properties and composition of the small asteroid- and comet-sized bodies that were the building materials of our Earth 4.5 billion years ago.

The dust detector will also measure interplanetary and interstellar dust populations during the main cruise phase 2024-2028, studying dust streams of numerous bodies in our solar system. The grains of dust are messengers from their parent bodies, and measuring their composition is like analysing soil samples of asteroids or comets.


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Latest Revision: 2024-03-01
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