During the first workshop we considered:
- The possibility that Centaurs might be less processed than short-period cometary nuclei and so might make preferable targets in the search for primordial matter.
- The trade-offs between drilling technology and physical constraints imposed by the thermal properties and thermo-dynamical history of the target body
- Constraints imposed by the physics of sample return, especially the problem of sample damage caused by high g-loading upon re-entry.
- How discussions on protoplanetary disks opened up the question of whether lateral and vertical mixing could have fully sublimed and re-condensed ice grains leading to cometesimals or whether primordial state is maintained during this epoch.
At the end of the first workshop the understanding was that we should explore not one but two Cryogenic Sample Return Mission (CSRM) scenarios, one to a comet and the other to a Centaur.
Goals for the second workshop are:
- Determine the effect of surface hardness, constrained especially by new interpretations of the Rosetta data, on sampling and drilling technology. Identify case scenarios and engineering models to address the extremes.
- Determine whether re-entry acceleration and/or vibration poses an insurmountable threat to some or all of the science objectives and whether or not in-situ or in-orbit analyses are therefore required.
- Develop plausible scenarios for (A) comet CSRM and (B) Centaur CSRM, including initial assessment of possible flight paths using existing and planned rocket technology.
- Evaluate and come up with recommendations regarding primitive/non-primitive status of ice grains and organics in protoplanetary disk that would become cometesimals and KBOs/Oort Cloud bodies in an evolved Solar System like ours.