The Whipple shield is designed to act as a rudimentary umbrella or bumper shield to protect the spacecraft during high-speed encounters with particles in the cometary coma. These shields are made of composite panels to disburse the particles. Nextel blankets of ceramic cloth further dissipate and spread the particle debris solid particles up to 1-cm in diameter. Three blankets are used in the main body shield, with two are used to protect the solar arrays.
The Whipple shields shadow the spacecraft to protect it during the high-speed encounter with particles in the cometary coma. Bumper shields are composite panels that disrupt particles as they hit. Nextel blankets of ceramic cloth further dissipated and spread the particle debris. Three blankets are used in the main body shield, with two used in the solar array shields. The composite Catcher absorbs all of the debris for primary particles up to 1 cm in diameter for the shield protecting the spacecraft main body. Total Mass: 370 kg.