Dawn (spacecraft)

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Dawn Flight Configuration 2.jpg
Artist's concept of Dawn with Vesta (left) & Ceres (right) (the proximity of Vesta to Ceres is not to scale.)
Organization: NASA
Mission type: Flyby / Orbiter
Flyby of: Mars (February 4, 2009)
Satellite of: Vesta
Orbital insertion date: Vesta: July 2011
Ceres: March 2015
Launch date: September 27, 2007
(10 years, 108 days ago)
Launch vehicle: Delta 7925-H
Launch site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Mission duration: Until July 2015
Webpage: dawn.jpl.nasa.gov

Dawn is an unmanned NASA space probe. It has orbited and studied the asteroid Vesta, and it is currently orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres. Both Vesta and Ceres are in the asteroid belt. Dawn is the first spacecraft to visit Ceres and the first to visit Vesta.[1] It also is the first spacecraft to orbit two extraterrestrial bodies.[1]

Dawn was launched on September 27, 2007[2][3][4] at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a Delta 7925-H rocket.[3][4] It then travelled to Mars for a gravity assist, making its closest approach to Mars in February 2009.[2]

One of the photos Dawn took of Vesta

Next, Dawn set off for Vesta.[2] It went into orbit in July, 2011.[2] On September 5, 2012, Dawn left Vesta and headed for Ceres.[1] It began to orbit Ceres on March 6, 2015.[1][5]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Dawn at Ceres" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 2015-03-07. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Schilling, Govert (July 2011), "Solar System sleuth", BBC Sky at Night Magazine (74), pp. 38–43 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Dawn Launch". NASA. Retrieved 2011-08-16. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Week in Photos: Dawn Lifts Off, Pike Poisoned, More". National Geographic. Retrieved 2011-08-16. 
  5. "NASA Spacecraft Becomes First to Orbit a Dwarf Planet". NASA. Retrieved 2015-03-07. 

Other websites[change | change source]