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NASA’s Dawn Mission to Asteroid Belt Comes to End

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NASA’s Dawn Mission to Asteroid Belt Comes to End

Post by Dragon on Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:48 pm

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has gone silent, ending a historic mission that studied time capsules from the solar system’s earliest chapter.

Dawn missed scheduled communications sessions with NASA's Deep Space Network on Wednesday, Oct. 31, and Thursday, Nov. 1. After the flight team eliminated other possible causes for the missed communications, mission managers concluded that the spacecraft finally ran out of hydrazine, the fuel that enables the spacecraft to control its pointing. Dawn can no longer keep its antennas trained on Earth to communicate with mission control or turn its solar panels to the Sun to recharge.

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Re: NASA’s Dawn Mission to Asteroid Belt Comes to End

Post by Dragon on Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:50 pm


Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

This photo of Ceres and the bright regions of Occator Crater was one of the last views NASA's Dawn spacecraft transmitted before it completed its mission. This view, which faces south, was captured on Sept. 1, 2018, at an altitude of 2,340 miles (3,370 kilometers) as the spacecraft was ascending in its elliptical orbit.

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Re: NASA’s Dawn Mission to Asteroid Belt Comes to End

Post by Dragon on Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:51 pm


Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

This photo of Ceres and one of its key landmarks, Ahuna Mons, was one of the last views Dawn transmitted before it completed its mission. This view, which faces south, was captured on Sept. 1, 2018, at an altitude of 2220 miles (3570 kilometers) as the spacecraft was ascending in its elliptical orbit.

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Re: NASA’s Dawn Mission to Asteroid Belt Comes to End

Post by Dragon on Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:52 pm



NASA’s Dawn spacecraft turned science fiction into science fact by using ion propulsion to explore the two largest bodies in the main asteroid belt, Vesta and Ceres. The mission will end this fall, when the spacecraft runs out of hydrazine, which keeps it oriented and in communication with Earth.

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Re: NASA’s Dawn Mission to Asteroid Belt Comes to End

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