Why fly to a comet?
The origin of the Solar System is unknown in many aspects. The origins of comets and the relationships between comets and interstellar matter are investigated in order to find clues for the origin of the Solar System. Comets are often called “dirty snowballs”, because the nuclei of the comets are just a few kilometers in size and consist mostly of ice and dust.
The origin of the long periodic comets is the so called Oort cloud, which is a sphere around the sun located at a distance of approx one light year. The short periodic comets presumably originate from the Kuiper belt, which is a region beyond Pluto. There they reside to some extend in a manner of cosmic freezer due to the large distance to the sun and hence consist of the primary material from which our Solar System developed some 4,6 billion years ago.