Dawn (spacecraft)

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Dawn
Dawn spacecraft model.png
Illustration of the Dawn spacecraft
Mission typeMulti-target orbiter
OperatorNASA / JPL
COSPAR ID2007-043A
SATCAT no.32249
Websitehttp://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/
Mission durationPlanned: 9 years
Elapsed: 11 years, 6 months, 28 days
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerOrbital Sciences · JPL · UCLA
Launch mass1,217.7 kg (2,684.6 lb)[1]
Dry mass747.1 kg (1,647.1 lb)[1]
Dimensions1.64 × 19.7 × 1.77 m (5.4 × 65 × 5.8 ft)[1]
Power10,000 watts at 1 AU[1]
1,300 watts at 3 AU
Start of mission
Launch dateSeptember 27, 2007, 11:34 (2007-09-27UTC11:34) UTC[2]
RocketDelta II 7925H
Launch siteCape Canaveral SLC-17B
ContractorUnited Launch Alliance
Flyby of Mars
Closest approachFebruary 18, 2009, 00:27:58 UTC[2]
Distance542 km (337 mi)[2]
4 Vesta orbiter
Orbital insertionJuly 16, 2011, 04:47 UTC[3]
Orbital departureSeptember 5, 2012, 06:26 UTC[2]
1 Ceres orbiter
Orbital insertionMarch 6, 2015, 12:29 UTC[2]
Dawn logo.png
Dawn mission patch

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.[4] It also is the first spacecraft to orbit two extraterrestrial bodies.[4]

Dawn was launched on September 27, 2007[5][6][7] at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a Delta 7925-H rocket.[6][7] It then travelled to Mars for a gravity assist, making its closest approach to Mars in February 2009.[5]

One of the photos Dawn took of Vesta

Next, Dawn set off for Vesta.[5] It went into orbit in July, 2011.[5] On September 5, 2012, Dawn left Vesta and headed for Ceres.[4] It began to orbit Ceres on March 6, 2015.[4][8]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Dawn at Ceres" (PDF) (Press kit). NASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory. March 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Dawn". National Space Science Data Center. NASA. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  3. Brown, Dwayne C.; Vega, Priscilla (August 1, 2011). "NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Begins Science Orbits of Vesta". NASA. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Dawn at Ceres" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Schilling, Govert (July 2011), "Solar System sleuth", BBC Sky at Night Magazine (74), pp. 38–43
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Dawn Launch". NASA. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Week in Photos: Dawn Lifts Off, Pike Poisoned, More". National Geographic. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
  8. "NASA Spacecraft Becomes First to Orbit a Dwarf Planet". NASA. Retrieved 2015-03-07.

Other websites[change | change source]