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Planetary Probe, Comet Penetrator, Drop Test Model


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Exploring the Planets exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

Originally designed for a future Mars Penetrator mission, probes such as this have been extensively tested for planetary exploration. Instruments on a comet nucleus penetrator could relay back information on composition of unaltered subsurface comet material, the variation in temperature near the surface, and the strength of the surface. This penetrator was produced in the 1980s for drop tests in planning for a future Mars mission.

Transferred by NASA Ames Research Center

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred by NASA Ames Research Center


aluminin and tungston steel


3-D: 119.4 x 8.9cm, 18.1kg (47 x 3 1/2 in., 40lb.)

Country of Origin

United States of America


SPACECRAFT-Unmanned-Test Vehicles

Inventory Number