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COmetary SAmpling and Composition experiment

COSAC FM The COmetary SAmpling and Composition experiment (COSAC) is one of the two evolved gas analysers onboard Philae.

The image shows the flight hardware shortly after integration onto Philae.

> Science objectives
> The Instrument
> Related links
> COSAC Homepage at MPS
> COSAC publications by MPS members

Science objectives

The task of the experiment is to identify organic compounds within the material of the nucleus of comet 67/P Churyumov Gerasimenko. Comets are to a large extent made of organic material and water. The earth, when it formed, was most probably too hot to hold volatile material. It is therefore likely that some of the biologically important inventory of the surface of earth was delivered by comets. These ancient celestial bodies may therefore be very important for the evolution of life. COSAC will deliver information about the organic volatile fraction of the cometary nucleus and hopefully help to unveil another chapter in the history of life.


The Instrument

Cosac comprises a gas-chromatograph (GC) and a time-of-flight mass-spectrometer (TOF-MS) as well as the hardware to run the GC/MS. Soil samples retrieved from the drill are put into ovens. When the samples are heated the evolving gases are fed into the GC, the MS, or the combination of both.


Related links

> COSAC Homepage at MPS
> Rosetta Lander Homepage at MPS

top  Top Fred Goesmann, 09-11-2004 drucken   Print−friendly Page
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