NASA on a Dawn mission: new orbit, new opportunities

DEEPENING MYSTERY of BRIGHT LIGHTS on dwarf world Ceres
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This orbit will be less than 30 miles (50 kilometers) above the surface of Ceres - 10 times closer than the spacecraft has ever been. Dawn captured this view on May 16, 2018 from an altitude of about 270 miles (440 kilometers).

"The team is eagerly awaiting the detailed composition and high-resolution imaging from the new, up-close examination". She further added that such high-resolution photos would help them to extract much-refined data which will help them to formulate a different process by amalgamating old data with that of the new data derived.

Designers at NASA needed to design an ideal orbit for which, they drew up greater than 45,000 feasible courses for the spacecraft and also shortlisted among them where the satellite will certainly now orbit the earth when every 27 hrs and also 13 mins. That's Occator Crater, a place with odd, bright white spots.

In early June, Dawn will reach its new, final orbit above Ceres. By studying the crater in conjunction with the area surrounding it, mission scientists hope to learn more about the region's complex geology.

During XMO7, Dawn will orbit Ceres once every 27 hours and 13 minutes, which is exactly three times Ceres's rotation period, meaning for every three rotations Ceres makes, the spacecraft will orbit the dwarf planet once.

The German Aerospace Center, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Italian Space Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute are worldwide partners on the mission team.


The Dawn probe would reportedly be running out of fuel soon in this fall after its final orbit.

In addition to obtaining close up images, Dawn will also collect gamma ray and neutron spectra of the surface, which will allow scientists to better identify its chemical composition.

"The low point of Dawn's orbit will gradually shift southward on each successive revolution", Rayman writes.

Dawn was launched in 2007 and has been exploring the two largest bodies in the main asteroid belt, Vesta and Ceres, to uncover new insights into our solar system. Dawn is equipped with a fuel-efficient ion drive that allowed it to fly between asteroids.

Formerly, researchers at the Institute of Astrophysics as well as Space Planetology in Rome found salts of carbonic acid and also sodium carbonates all throughout the surface area of the world utilizing probe's visible-infrared mapping spectrometer tool.

Engineers have spent the last several months plotting the descent to the low orbit to come up with a plan that will provide the best opportunity for science observations.

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