NASA's Dawn Spacecraft moves to low orbit around Dwarf Planet Ceres

NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft moves to low orbit around Dwarf Planet Ceres

Dawn will acquire gamma ray and neutron spectra, which assist scientists perceive variations within the chemical make-up of Ceres’ uppermost layer. That very low orbit additionally will garner a few of Dawn’s closest pictures but.

The switch from Dawn’s earlier orbit to its ultimate one is just not so simple as making a lane change. Dawn’s operations workforce labored for months to plot the course for this second prolonged mission of the veteran spacecraft, which is propelled by an ion engine. Engineers mapped out greater than 45,000 attainable trajectories earlier than devising a plan that may enable one of the best science observations.

Dawn was launched in 2007 and has been exploring the 2 largest our bodies in the primary asteroid belt, Vesta and Ceres, to uncover new insights into our photo voltaic system. It entered Ceres’ orbit in March 2015.

“The team is eagerly awaiting the detailed composition and high-resolution imaging from the new, up-close examination,” mentioned Dawn’s Principal Investigator Carol Raymond of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. “These new high-resolution data allow us to test theories formulated from the previous data sets and discover new features of this fascinating dwarf planet.”

More detailed details about Dawn’s deliberate orbit is in Marc Rayman’s Dawn Journal. Rayman is Dawn’s mission director and chief engineer.

More details about the Dawn mission is obtainable on the following websites:

https://www.nasa.gov/dawn

https://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov

The Dawn mission is managed by JPL for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a mission of the directorate’s Discovery Program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. JPL is liable for general Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and constructed the spacecraft.

The German Aerospace Center, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Italian Space Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute are worldwide companions on the mission workforce.

For an entire listing of mission individuals, go to:

https://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission

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