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Latest Dawn Stories

Image 1 - Aiming For An Open Window
2012-02-25 05:21:19

Why does NASA sometimes schedule a rocket launch for the middle of the night, or aim for a liftoff time when weather is notoriously unlikely to cooperate? The simplicity of the question belies the complexity of the answer. The best time to start a mission is based on a blend of factors: the flight's target and goals, the needs of the spacecraft, the type of rocket, and the desired trajectory, which refers to the path the vehicle and spacecraft must take to successfully start the mission....

Image 1 - Models Reveal That Vesta Is Likely Cold And Dark Enough For Ice
2012-01-26 05:40:12

Though generally thought to be quite dry, roughly half of the giant asteroid Vesta is expected to be so cold and to receive so little sunlight that water ice could have survived there for billions of years, according to the first published models of Vesta's average global temperatures and illumination by the sun. "Near the north and south poles, the conditions appear to be favorable for water ice to exist beneath the surface," says Timothy Stubbs of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in...

595039main_pia14869-43_946-710
2011-12-31 09:08:18

When NASA's Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around giant asteroid Vesta in July, scientists fully expected the probe to reveal some surprising sights. But no one expected a 13-mile high mountain, two and a half times higher than Mount Everest, to be one of them. The existence of this towering peak could solve a longstanding mystery: How did so many pieces of Vesta end up right here on our own planet? For many years, researchers have been collecting Vesta meteorites from "fall sites"...

Low Altitude Images Of Vesta Returned By Dawn Spacecraft
2011-12-22 04:31:12

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has sent back the first images of the giant asteroid Vesta from its low-altitude mapping orbit. The images, obtained by the framing camera, show the stippled and lumpy surface in detail never seen before, piquing the curiosity of scientists who are studying Vesta for clues about the solar system's early history. At this detailed resolution, the surface shows abundant small craters, and textures such as small grooves and lineaments that are reminiscent of the...

NASA Names Top Stories For 2011
2011-12-21 04:43:21

NASA Announces Plans for Human Exploration of Deep Space, Fosters Commercial Spaceflight and Makes Major Discoveries in 2011 In 2011, NASA began developing a heavy-lift rocket for the human exploration of deep space, helped foster a new era of commercial spaceflight and technology breakthroughs, fully utilized a newly complete space station, and made major discoveries about the universe we live in, many of which will benefit life on Earth. "The year truly marks the beginning of a new...

2011-12-20 16:58:00

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In 2011, NASA began developing a heavy-lift rocket for the human exploration of deep space, helped foster a new era of commercial spaceflight and technology breakthroughs, fully utilized a newly complete space station, and made major discoveries about the universe we live in, many of which will benefit life on Earth. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) "The year truly marks the beginning of a new era in the human...

Image 1 - Dawn Now In Its Lowest Orbit Around Vesta
2011-12-13 04:25:18

NASA's Dawn spacecraft successfully maneuvered into its closest orbit around the giant asteroid Vesta on Monday, Dec. 12, beginning a new phase of science observations. The spacecraft is now circling Vesta at an altitude averaging about 130 miles (210 kilometers) in the phase of the mission known as low altitude mapping orbit. "Dawn has performed some complicated and beautiful choreography in order to reach this lowest orbit," said Marc Rayman, Dawn chief engineer and mission manager based...

Dawn Reveals Vesta's 'Color Palette'
2011-12-07 05:46:54

[ Watch the Video ] Vesta appears in a splendid rainbow-colored palette in new images obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. The colors, assigned by scientists to show different rock or mineral types, reveal Vesta to be a world of many varied, well-separated layers and ingredients. Vesta is unique among asteroids visited by spacecraft to date in having such wide variation, supporting the notion that it is transitional between the terrestrial planets -- like Earth, Mercury, Mars and Venus --...

Dawn Provides New 3D Views Of Asteroid Vest
2011-12-02 10:31:47

[ Watch the Video ] Glide over the giant asteroid Vesta with NASA's Dawn spacecraft in a new 3-D video.  Dawn has been orbiting Vesta since July 15, obtaining high-resolution images of its bumpy, cratered surface and making other scientific measurements. The new video is best viewed with red-blue glasses, and incorporates images from Dawn's framing camera from July to August 2011. It was created by Dawn team member Ralf Jaumann of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The images...

Three NASA Missions Named PopSci's 'Best Of What's New'
2011-11-30 12:22:55

NASA's Dawn, Mars Science Laboratory and MESSENGER missions have earned recognition from Popular Science magazine as innovations worthy of the publication's "Best of What's New" Award in the aviation and space category. Dawn and Mars Science Laboratory are managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Dawn is currently orbiting and exploring the massive main-belt asteroid Vesta. The Mars Science Laboratory and its Curiosity rover launched on Nov. 26 on a journey to the...


Latest Dawn Reference Libraries

9_492577401769e5bd3fcb20c80fa3c9a32
2004-10-19 04:45:44

NEAR-Shoemaker Mission -- The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous - Shoemaker (NEAR Shoemaker), renamed after its launch in honor of Gene Shoemaker, is an unmanned spacecraft designed to study the near-Earth asteroid Eros from close orbit over a period of a year. The primary scientific objectives of NEAR were to return data on the bulk properties, composition, mineralogy, morphology, internal mass distribution and magnetic field of Eros. Secondary objectives include studies of regolith...

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