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Thread: Progress of Dawn in the solar system

  1. #841
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    Are they going to crash Dawn? Even after all the evidence for liquid water?
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  2. #842
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Are they going to crash Dawn? Even after all the evidence for liquid water?
    Do not think so, but I could not find where they said that.

  3. #843
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Do not think so, but I could not find where they said that.
    Found the answer

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/1/17...lt-final-orbit

    The Dawn team ultimately found a way to get into a good orbit where the probe will remain for up to 50 years. But the spacecraft won’t be in communication with Earth for much longer. When its fuel runs out, the vehicle won’t be able to orient its solar panels toward the Sun, and it will eventually run out of power.

    It’s unclear what will happen to Dawn after the 50 years is up, since the team only did analyses of the orbit up until that point. However, Raymond says the spacecraft will probably stick around Ceres as a permanent satellite. “The expectation is it will just continue without any change,” she says. “And at some point in the future when we go back to Ceres, we may be able to spot it still circling.”

  4. #844
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    They've started to post pictures from the new lower orbit. A few pictures of Occator's rim and lots of boulders. Can't wait to see the central mound. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/mi...=Target:Ceres:

  5. #845
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    Marc Rayman on the latest status.

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest...ling-down.html

    Propelled by the perfect combination of xenon ions, hydrazine rocket propellant and adrenaline, Dawn is on the verge of its most ambitious exploits yet. Having flawlessly completed its latest assignment to study Ceres, the veteran explorer is now aiming for a new low. Earlier today Dawn ignited ion engine #2 to start maneuvering to its lowest altitude above the dwarf planet. Soon the spaceship will be skimming closer to the alien landscapes of rock, ice and salt than

  6. #846
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    Dawn has fired its ion engines for the last time

    https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7177

    Mission controllers have turned off the industrious ion engines on NASA's Dawn spacecraft for the last time and do not expect to turn them back on again, if everything goes as planned for the rest of Dawn's mission in orbit around Ceres, the largest body in the main asteroid belt. Engineers led by Dawn Project Manager Marc Rayman of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, drew this conclusion on Tuesday, June 26, after analyzing data from Dawn's last thrusting session on Thursday, June 21, and verifying plans for the rest of the mission. Mission managers expect Dawn to continue gathering science data and transmitting it to Earth for another few months.

  7. #847
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    Finally. Close up view of the central mound in Occator Crater.
    https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages...hp?id=PIA22477

  8. #848
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    With the end of the mission literary weeks away, Dawn is focused on sending back as much information on Ceres as possible.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/NA...ssion_999.html

    Even as NASA's Dawn spacecraft approaches the end of its mission, the probe continues to collect valuable data.

    According to NASA, Dawn's instruments continue to observe Ceres and its unique geological features in gamma ray, infrared and visible spectra. The spacecraft also continues to beam back gravity data to Earth.

    Most of the probe's recent observations have focused on Ceres' Occator and Urvara craters. An improved understanding of the dwarf planet's geological features could help scientists more accurately model Ceres' formation and evolution.

    "The new images of Occator Crater and the surrounding areas have exceeded expectations, revealing beautiful, alien landscapes," Carol Raymond, principal investigator of the Dawn mission and scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a news release. "Ceres' unique surface appears to be shaped by impacts into its volatile-rich crust, resulting in intriguing, complex geology, as we can see in the new high-resolution mosaics of Cerealia Facula and Vinalia Faculae."

  9. #849
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    Marc Rayman's Dawn Journal where he describes how they got Dawn to take the close up pictures of Cerealia Facula.

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest...on-a-high.html

    Dawn is going out on a high! Or maybe a low. Rapidly nearing the end of a unique decade-long interplanetary expedition, Dawn is taking phenomenal pictures of dwarf planet Ceres as it swoops closer to the ground than ever before. While the pictures are too new for compelling scientific conclusions to be reached, a clear consensus has already emerged: Wow!!!

  10. #850
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    Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day features Ceres' bright spot, as seen close up by Dawn.

  11. #851
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    Dawn updates from Marc Rayman.

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest...enouement.html

    A fantastic story of adventure, exploration and discovery is reaching its denouement. In the final phase of its long and productive deep-space mission, Dawn is operating flawlessly in orbit around dwarf planet Ceres.
    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest...rspective.html

    People have been gazing in wonder and appreciation at the beauty of the night sky throughout the history of our species. The gleaming jewels in the seemingly infinite black of space ignite passions and stir myriad thoughts and feelings, from the trivial to the profound. Many people have been inspired to learn more, sometimes even devoting their lives to the pursuit of new knowledge. Since Galileo pointed his telescope up four centuries ago and beheld astonishing new sights, more and more celestial gems have been discovered, making us ever richer.
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2018-Sep-06 at 12:36 PM.
    I am because we are
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  12. #852
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    NASA on Dawn's legacy.

    https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7231

    NASA's Dawn mission is drawing to a close after 11 years of breaking new ground in planetary science, gathering breathtaking imagery, and performing unprecedented feats of spacecraft engineering.

    Dawn's mission was extended several times, outperforming scientists' expectations in its exploration of two planet-like bodies, Ceres and Vesta, that make up 45 percent of the mass of the main asteroid belt. Now the spacecraft is about to run out of a key fuel, hydrazine. When that happens, most likely between mid-September and mid-October, Dawn will lose its ability to communicate with Earth. It will remain in a silent orbit around Ceres for decades.

    "Although it will be sad to see Dawn's departure from our mission family, we are intensely proud of its many accomplishments," said Lori Glaze, acting director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Not only did this spacecraft unlock scientific secrets at these two small but significant worlds, it was also the first spacecraft to visit and orbit bodies at two extraterrestrial destinations during its mission. Dawn's science and engineering achievements will echo throughout history."
    I am because we are
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  13. #853
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    "Dawn Journal: 11 Years in Space"

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest...-in-space.html

    Today Dawn is celebrating its 11th anniversary of spaceflight. This is the last dawnniversary the spacecraft will see. The venerable adventurer's mission will end very soon. Indeed, it could happen at any moment. In the meantime, Dawn is making the most of its remaining lifetime, performing exquisitely detailed measurements of dwarf planet Ceres. It will do so right to the very last moment.
    I am because we are
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  14. #854
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    "Dawn Journal: Final Transmission"

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest...nsmission.html

    Following a successful mission, Dawn mission operations concluded successfully on Oct. 31. (Please note the understated elegance of that sentence.)

    After more than 11 years in deep space, after unveiling the two largest uncharted worlds in the inner solar system, after overcoming myriad daunting obstacles, Dawn's interplanetary adventure came to an end.

    We explained in detail in the two August Dawn Journals that the spaceship would deplete its supply of hydrazine, which was essential for controlling its orientation as it orbited dwarf planet Ceres. We predicted that the last of the hydrazine would be spent between mid-September and mid-October (although we acknowledged that it could be earlier or later). Dawn, ever the overachiever, held on until the end of October, and the explorer was productive to the very end. This was the best way to end a mission. It was good to the last drop!
    I am because we are
    (African saying)

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