Robert Farquhar, Co-Investigator, APL (continued)
Bob (center) with wife (left) and astronaut John Glenn (right) prior to the National Air and Space Museum's 2001 awards ceremony. The museum honored the NEAR mission for in the category of Current Achievement and John Glenn in the category of Lifetime Achievement.
You are also proposing to reuse ICE. What will that mission do, and how will it improve our knowledge of comets?
I'm hoping to convince NASA to reactivate ICE when it returns to the Earth's vicinity in 2014. I am planning to use a lunar swingby maneuver to recapture ICE into an Earth orbit, and then send it back to its original halo orbit around the Sun-Earth L1 libration point. Later, in 2018, I want to use another lunar swingby to send ICE through the tail of comet Wirtanen when this comet is only 0.08 AU from Earth. This would be only the second time that a spacecraft traversed a comet's tail. ICE would have performed both of these tail traverses.
Is there anything else you wish to accomplish in your career?
There are several things including a possible Discovery mission that would rendezvous with an active comet. However, because I'm now 78 years old, I'm more interested in completing my three-volume treatise on the postal history of Manchuria from 1925 to 1951. So far, I've published the first volume that is entitled, "Manchuria in Transition 1925-1934, Chang Tso-lin to Emperor Kang Teh."