Keyword: vesta

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  • Radiation Blast Delays NASA Spacecraft’s Arrival At Dwarf Planet Ceres

    09/17/2014 2:17:55 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | September 17, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell on
    Controllers discovered Dawn was in safe mode Sept. 11 after radiation disabled its ion engine, which uses electrical fields to “push” the spacecraft along. The radiation stopped all engine thrusting activities. The thrusting resumed Monday (Sept. 15) after controllers identified and fixed the problem, but then they found another anomaly troubling the spacecraft. ... Dawn is en route to Ceres after orbiting the huge asteroid Vesta between July 2011 and September 2012. A similar suspected radiation blast three years ago also disabled Dawn’s engine before it reached Vesta, but the ion system worked perfectly in moving Dawn away from Vesta...
  • Ancient Asteroid Impacts Left Serpentine Traces On Vesta: Study

    07/02/2014 9:40:24 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 7 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 2, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell on
    While “dark materials” may leave some of us thinking about a certain Philip Pullman book series, on the asteroid Vesta its presence belies something equally exotic: old smaller asteroid impacts on its surface. The dark stuff on the lighter surface has puzzled researchers since it was discovered in 2011 (and has been brought up in other studies), but a new team says it has found that serpentine is among the components. Because that mineral can’t survive temperatures that are more than 400 degrees Celsius (752 degrees Fahrenheit), this means that scenarios such as volcanic eruptions can’t have caused it. This...
  • Ceres and Vesta Converge in the Sky on July 5: How to See It

    06/26/2014 7:28:57 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | June 26, 2014 | Bob King on
    In April, we reported that Ceres and Vesta, the largest and brightest asteroids respectively, were speeding through Virgo in tandem. Since then both have faded, but the best is yet to come. Converging closer by the day, on July 5, the two will make rare close pass of each other when they’ll be separated by just 10 minutes of arc or the thickness of a fat crescent moon. ... Both asteroids are still within range of ordinary 35mm and larger binoculars; Vesta is easy at magnitude +7 while Ceres still manages a respectable +8.3. From an outer suburban or rural...
  • Trips to Mars in 39 Days?

    10/08/2009 3:02:57 AM PDT · by Dallas59 · 20 replies · 833+ views
    Universe Today ^ | 10/7/2009 | Nancy Atkinson
    Video of Engine Test Using traditional chemical rockets, a trip to Mars – at quickest — lasts 6 months. But a new rocket tested successfully last week could potentially cut down travel time to the Red Planet to just 39 days. The Ad Astra Rocket Company tested a plasma rocket called the VASIMR VX-200 engine, which ran at 201 kilowatts in a vacuum chamber, passing the 200-kilowatt mark for the first time. "It's the most powerful plasma rocket in the world right now," says Franklin Chang-Diaz, former NASA astronaut and CEO of Ad Astra. The company has also signed...
  • This Dwarf Planet Might Have More Fresh Water Than All Of Earth

    01/26/2014 7:31:00 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 53 replies
    Popular Science ^ | January 22, 2014 | Colin Lecher
    And it's actually (relatively) nearby. This is poor, unfortunate Ceres. Discovered in 1801, it was at first called a planet, then soon classified as an asteroid, and recently as a dwarf planet, not quite qualifying for real planet status despite residing in the solar system's asteroid belt. But now it can feel special: the Herschel Telescope has, the for the first time, detected water on the lil' planet--probably a whole lot of it, too. The telescope, using infrared vision, detected a signature of water vapor from Ceres. The researchers think when the 590-mile-wide Ceres moves closer to the sun, part...
  • Herschel Discovers Water Vapor Spewing from Ceres

    01/22/2014 1:51:16 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | January 22, 2014 | Nancy Atkinson on
    Herschel used its far-infrared vision with the HIFI instrument to see a clear spectral signature of the water vapor. But, interestingly, Herschel did not see water vapor every time it looked. There were variations in the water signal during the dwarf planet’s 9-hour rotation period. The telescope spied water vapor four different times, on one occasion there was no signature. The astronomers deduced that almost all of the water vapor was seen to be coming from just two spots on the surface. Although Herschel was not able to make a resolved image of Ceres, the team was able to derive...
  • NASA's New Target: A manned mission to an asteroid sounds far-fetched...

    12/19/2007 5:28:54 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies · 88+ views
    Popular Science ^ | October 2007 | Dawn Stover
    Astronauts, space buffs and an unimpressed public hunger for space exploration that's more dramatic, more heroic, more new. Something like, say, landing astronauts on a distant rock hurtling through space at 15 miles per second. That's exactly the kind of trip NASA has been studying. In fact, scientists at the space agency recently determined that a manned mission to a near-Earth asteroid would be possible using technology being developed today... This wouldn't be our first trip to an asteroid. We've been visiting them by proxy for years now, using unmanned space probes. In 2000 NASA's NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft arrived at...
  • Dawn Liftoff at Dawn... on mission to Ceres and Vesta

    09/28/2007 7:17:50 AM PDT · by cogitator · 22 replies · 143+ views
    Dawn Mission ^ | 09/28/2007 | NASA
    I'm mainly posting this because the liftoff image is one of the most impressive I've seen.
  • NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Begins Trek to Asteroid Belt

    09/27/2007 1:10:44 PM PDT · by saganite · 37 replies · 229+ views
    Space.com ^ | 27 September 2007 | Tariq Malik
    A NASA probe blasted into space early Thursday, kicking off an unprecedented mission to explore the two largest asteroids in the solar system. Riding atop a Delta 2 rocket, NASA's Dawn spacecraft launched toward the asteroids Vesta and Ceres at 7:34 a.m. EDT (1134 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. "In my view, we're going to be visiting some of the last unexplored worlds in the solar system," said Marc Rayman, Dawn director of system engineering at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. Dawn's eight-year mission will carry the 2,685-pound (1,212-kilogram) probe across...
  • NASA delays launch of Dawn spacecraft (Cape Canaveral: Rescheduled)

    07/07/2007 2:22:52 PM PDT · by bd476 · 12 replies · 620+ views
    Xinhua and Space.com ^ | July 7, 2007
    Washington, July 8 (Xinhua): The launch of NASA's Dawn spacecraft to explore two massive asteroids has been rescheduled to no earlier than Monday, July 9, NASA announced. The launch window for Dawn on Monday will be 3:56 p.m. to 4:26 p.m. EDT (1956 GMT to 2026 GMT). It will be sent into space by a Delta 2 rocket. The delay was prompted by difficulties with an aircraft that would gather data signals from the rocket during launch, and the availability of a tracking ship, NASA said in a statement. Also, the weather forecast at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station...
  • Asteroid mission postponed until July 15 (NASA's Dawn spacecraft destined for Vesta and Ceres)

    07/06/2007 7:59:06 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 10 replies · 341+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 7/6/07 | AP
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The planned weekend launch of a spacecraft to explore two of the solar system's largest asteroids was delayed again because of problems with a tracking ship and aircraft. NASA set Monday afternoon as a new launch time for the Dawn spacecraft, which will embark on a years-long journey to the asteroids Vesta and Ceres, which lie between Mars and Jupiter. The spacecraft originally had been set to launch Saturday but that was nixed because thunderstorms and lightning at the launch pad prevented loading its fuel. On Friday, the space agency called off a Sunday launch, too,...
  • Just a few more days for your name to rise with Dawn (Put your name onboard a spacecraft)

    11/01/2006 3:49:52 AM PST · by saganite · 7 replies · 402+ views
    Spaceflight Now ^ | 31 Oct 06 | staff
    NASA's campaign to send the nom de plumes of people from around the world into the heart of the asteroid belt ends Sat., Nov. 4. Submitted names will be carried on board NASA's Dawn, the first spacecraft to travel between and scrutinize two distinct worlds. Mission scientists are confident Dawn observations of asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres will answer basic questions about the nature and composition of these celestial wanderers. "How many chances do you get to fly into the very heart of the asteroid belt?" said Keyur Patel, Dawn project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif....
  • Dawn spacecraft to blast off Sunday on mission to 2 asteroids

    07/05/2007 12:40:25 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 23 replies · 558+ views
    AP on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 7/5/07 | Alicia Chang - ap
    NASA this weekend is set to launch a spacecraft that will journey to the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter, a mission that involves a rendezvous with two of the solar system's largest asteroids. Seeking clues about the birth of the solar system, the Dawn spacecraft will first encounter Vesta, the smaller of the two bodies, four years from now. In 2015, it will meet up with Ceres, which carries the status of both asteroid and, like Pluto, dwarf planet. "We're trying to go back in time as well as to go out there in space," said planetary...
  • NASA Restarts Canceled Asteroid Mission - DAWN

    03/27/2006 12:40:16 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 22 replies · 441+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 3/27/06 | Alicia Chang - ap
    LOS ANGELES - NASA decided Monday to restart a mission to explore two of the solar system's largest asteroids, just weeks after the project was killed because of budget woes. The space agency earlier this month scrapped the $446 million Dawn mission to orbit the asteroids Ceres and Vesta, nearly a half year after it was put on hold because of cost overruns and technical problems. NASA decided to review the cancellation after the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which managed the mission, made an appeal. "Our review determined the project team has made substantive progress on many of this mission's technical...
  • NASA Reviews Canceled Asteroid Mission - ("unusual move", new evidence, 'Dawn' lives?)

    03/15/2006 8:00:52 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 7 replies · 355+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 3/15/06 | Alicia Chang - ap
    LOS ANGELES - In an unusual move, NASA is reviewing a recent decision by an agency head to scrap a mission to orbit two asteroids. The Dawn project was canceled on March 2, five months after it was put on standdown because of cost overruns and technical problems. NASA's unusual step to review Dawn's termination came after the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, which manages the mission, presented new evidence, the space agency said in a statement. It's the first time in recent memory that a NASA center has challenged a headquarters decision on a canceled mission, said NASA spokeswoman...
  • Icy World Found Inside Asteroid

    09/30/2005 8:19:40 PM PDT · by blam · 41 replies · 1,029+ views
    Science News Magazine ^ | 9-30-2005 | Ron Cowen
    Icy world found inside asteroid Ron Cowen New observations of Ceres, the largest known asteroid, suggest that frozen water may account for as much as 25 percent of its interior. If this is true, the volume of ice on Ceres would be greater than that of all the fresh water on Earth. CERES SERIES. This sequence of Hubble images reveals a bright spot of unknown origin on Ceres during a quarter-turn of the asteroid's 9-hour rotation. Thomas, et al., NASA The evidence comes from Hubble Space Telescope images showing that the 930-kilometer-wide asteroid is smooth and almost perfectly round. Simulations...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mars, Ceres, Vesta

    04/10/2014 5:55:43 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    NASA ^ | April 10, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: That bright, ruddy star you've recently noticed rising just after sunset isn't a star at all. That's Mars, the Red Planet. Mars is now near its 2014 opposition (April 8) and closest approach (April 14), looping through the constellation Virgo opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky. Clearly outshining bluish Spica, alpha star of Virgo, Mars is centered in this labeled skyview from early April, that includes two other solar system worlds approaching their opposition. On the left, small and faint asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres are seen near star Tau Virginis. But you'll just have to imagine...
  • Mystery of Huge Asteroid Vesta's Formation Deepens

    11/07/2013 8:26:48 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    SPACE.com ^ | November 06, 2013 01:00pm ET | Charles Q. Choi,
    | The discovery of mysterious rocks on the brightest large asteroid in the solar system, Vesta, deepens the mystery surrounding the huge object's origins, researchers say. Vesta is the second-largest asteroid in the solar system. The 330-mile-wide (530-kilometer) protoplanet is also the brightest large asteroid, with a surface about three times more luminous than Earth's moon.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Bright Jupiter in Taurus

    11/27/2012 3:22:35 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | November 27, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: That bright star you've recently noticed rising just after sunset isn't a star at all. It's Jupiter, the solar system's ruling gas giant. Bright Jupiter is nearing its December 3rd opposition when it will stand in Taurus, opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky. Clearly outshining yellowish Aldebaran, alpha star of Taurus, Jupiter is centered in this skyview from November 14th, also featuring the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters, familiar celestial sights as the northern hemisphere winter approaches. Sliding your cursor over the image will label the scene and identify two other solar system worlds approaching their opposition in...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Leaving Vesta

    09/19/2012 6:23:23 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | September 19, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Next stop: Ceres. Last week the robotic Dawn spacecraft ended its year-long mission to asteroid Vesta, becoming the first spacecraft ever to visit this far off world located between Mars and Jupiter, in the Solar System's main asteroid belt. Many of the best images taken by Dawn at Vesta have been compiled into the above encompassing view. Vesta shows evidence of being a leftover from the early years of our Solar System, a building block for rocky planets like Earth. Vesta's ancient surface shows heavy cratering and long troughs likely created by huge impacts. The minor planet's low gravity...
  • Asteroid #2 down; on to Asteroid #1!

    09/03/2012 11:44:43 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 17 replies
    Starts With a BANG! ^ | 8/30/12 | Ethan Siegel
    “I have announced this star as a comet, but since it is not accompanied by any nebulosity and, further, since its movement is so slow and rather uniform, it has occurred to me several times that it might be something better than a comet. But I have been careful not to advance this supposition to the public.” -Giuseppe Piazzi, discoverer of Ceres, the first Asteroid Out beyond Mars, but not quite out as far as Jupiter, a collection of thousands of rocky objects, ranging in size from pebbles all the way up to the size of Texas, lies the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Conjunctions near Dawn

    06/30/2012 6:33:51 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | June 30, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Now shining in eastern skies at dawn, bright planets Venus and Jupiter join the Pleiades star cluster in this sea and sky scape, recorded earlier this week near Buenos Aires, Argentina. Venus dominates the scene that includes bright star Aldebaran just below and to the right. The planets are easy to spot for early morning risers, but this sky also holds two of our solar system's small worlds, Vesta and Ceres, not quite bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye. The digital camera's time exposure just captures them, though. Their positions are indicated when you put your...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Virtual Flight Over Asteroid Vesta

    05/14/2012 4:15:15 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | May 14, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What would it be like to fly over the asteroid Vesta? Animators from the German Aerospace Center recently took actual images and height data from NASA's Dawn mission currently visiting Vesta to generate such a virtual movie. The above video begins with a sequence above Divalia Fossa, an unusual pair of troughs running parallel over heavily cratered terrain. Next, the virtual spaceship explores Vesta's 60-km Marcia Crater, showing numerous vivid details. Last, Dawn images were digitally recast with exaggerated height to better reveal Vesta's 5-km high mountain Aricia Tholus. Currently, Dawn is rising away from Vesta after being close...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Vesta Rocks

    01/10/2012 6:13:14 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies · 1+ views
    NASA ^ | December 10, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: These colorful images are of thin slices of meteorites viewed through a polarizing microscope. Part of the group classified as HED (Howardite, Eucrite, Diogenite) meteorites for their mineral content, they likely fell to Earth from 4 Vesta, the mainbelt asteroid currently being explored by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. Why are they thought to be from Vesta? Because the HED meteorites have visible and infrared spectra that match the spectrum of that small world. The hypothesis of their origin on Vesta is also consistent with data from Dawn's ongoing observations. Excavated by impacts, the diogenites shown here would have originated deep...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Vesta Rocks

    12/11/2011 11:25:13 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | December 10, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: These colorful images are of thin slices of meteorites viewed through a polarizing microscope. Part of the group classified as HED meteorites for their mineral content (Howardite, Eucrite, Diogenite), they likely fell to Earth from 4 Vesta, the mainbelt asteroid currently being explored by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. Why are they thought to be from Vesta? Because the HED meteorites have visible and infrared spectra that match the spectrum of that small world. The hypothesis of their origin on Vesta is also consistent with data from Dawn's ongoing observations. Excavated by impacts, the diogenites shown here would have originated deep...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Landslide on Asteroid Vesta

    11/28/2011 8:43:51 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | November 28, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Asteroid Vesta is home to some of the most impressive cliffs in the Solar System. Pictured above near the image center is a very deep cliff running about 20 kilometers from top to bottom. The image was taken by the robotic Dawn spacecraft that began orbiting the 500-kilometer space rock earlier this year. The topography of the scarp and its surroundings indicates that huge landslides may have occurred down this slope. The scarp's origin remains unknown, but parts of the cliff face itself must be quite old as several craters have appeared in it since it was created. Dawn...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The South Pole of Asteroid Vesta

    09/19/2011 3:35:29 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | September 19, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What created the circular structure around the south pole of asteroid Vesta? Pictured above, the bottom of the second largest object in the asteroid belt was recently imaged for the first time by the robotic Dawn satellite that arrived last month. A close inspection of the 260-meter resolution image shows not only hills and craters and cliffs and more craters, but ragged circular features that cover most of the lower right of the 500-kilometer sized object. Early speculation posits that the structure might have been created by a collision and coalescence with a smaller asteroid. Alternatively, the features might...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Stereo Vesta

    08/20/2011 3:49:23 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | August 20, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Get out your red/blue glasses and float next to 4 Vesta. A 500 kilometer diameter world, Vesta lies in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This stereo anaglyph was constructed from two separate images recorded on July 24 by the just arrived Dawn spacecraft's framing camera with a resolution of about 500 meters per pixel. The 3D view features Vesta's newly discovered terrain, including long equatorial ridges and troughs and the prominent string of three craters at the upper right dubbed Snowman. Highlighted in 3D, steep sides of many of the craters show streaks...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Asteroid Vesta Full Frame

    08/02/2011 3:01:36 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | August 02, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why is the northern half of asteroid Vesta more heavily cratered than the south? No one is yet sure. This unexpected mystery has come to light only in the past few weeks since the robotic Dawn mission became the first spacecraft to orbit the second largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The northern half of Vesta, seen on the upper left of the above image, appears to show some of the densest cratering in the Solar System, while the southern half is unexpectedly smooth. Also unknown is the origin of grooves that circle the asteroid...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Vesta Vista

    07/18/2011 10:15:54 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    NASA ^ | July 19, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What does the surface of asteroid Vesta look like? The brightest asteroid in the Solar System and the object which takes up about 10 percent of the entire mass of the main asteroid belt had never been seen up close before. Over the past few weeks, however, the robotic Dawn spacecraft became the first spacecraft ever to approach Vesta. A few days ago, just after attaining orbit, Dawn took the above image. Early images show Vesta to be an old and battered world, covered with craters, bulges, grooves, and cliffs. Studying Vesta may give clues to the formative years...
  • NASA Probe to Uncover Secrets of Brightest Asteroid Vesta ('Dawn' probe to orbit protoplanet)

    07/15/2011 12:31:35 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 25 replies
    SPACE.com ^ | 7/15/11 | Charles Q. Choi
    The asteroid Vesta may be the brightest asteroid in the solar system, but it remains shrouded in mystery. When NASA's Dawn probe enters into orbit around Vesta on July 15 — the first spacecraft to visit the 330-mile-wide (530-kilometer) protoplanet — it promises to shed light on the many enigmas of the second-largest body in the asteroid belt. NASA launched the $466 million Dawn mission in 2007, with Vesta as the first (but not last) stop. The Dawn probe is also expected to visit Ceres, the largest asteroid in the solar system, but only after unlocking the secrets of Vesta....
  • Vesta Ahoy!

    05/14/2011 4:29:46 AM PDT · by Lonesome in Massachussets · 2 replies
    Sky and Telescope Website ^ | Shweta Krishnan
    If you were riding with NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, now cruising the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, you would see a brightening new point of light against the starry background. This is Vesta, your immediate destination. Artist rendition of Dawn gathering spectral data from Vesta. Scientists have estimated that Dawn will enter Vesta’s gravitational field on July 16, 2011, and begin taking data when it descends to an altitude of 2700 km from the surface. Dawn’s first image of Vesta, the second-largest object in the asteroid belt, still has fewer pixels than those of it taken by the Hubble Space...
  • Giant Asteroid Vesta Revealed in NASA Spacecraft's 1st Photo

    05/11/2011 6:10:14 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 57 replies
    SPACE.com ^ | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | Staff
    This image shows the first, unprocessed image obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft of the giant asteroid Vesta in front of a background of stars. It was obtained by Dawn's framing camera on May 3, 2011, from a distance of about 750,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers). CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
  • Craters on Vesta and Ceres could hold key to Jupiter’s age

    09/19/2009 4:03:05 PM PDT · by Fred Nerks · 15 replies · 772+ views
    SCIENCE CENTRIC ^ | 14 September 2009 00:02 GMT | by Anita Heward
    Crater patterns on Vesta and Ceres could help pinpoint when Jupiter began to form during the evolution of the early Solar System. A study modelling the cratering history of the largest two objects in the asteroid belt, which are believed to be among the oldest in the Solar System, indicates that the type and distribution of craters would show marked changes at different stages of Jupiter’s development. Results will be presented by Dr Diego Turrini at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam, Germany, on Monday 14 September. The study, carried out by scientists at the Italian National Institute for...
  • NASA to embark on asteroid-belt mission (DAWN - launch set for just after sunrise Thursday 9/27/07)

    09/25/2007 6:51:42 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 71 replies · 1,002+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 9/25/07 | Marcia Dunn - ap
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA is about to embark on an unprecedented asteroid-belt mission with a spacecraft aptly named Dawn. The 3 billion-mile, eight-year journey to probe the earliest stages of the solar system will begin with liftoff, planned for just after sunrise Thursday. Rain is forecast, however, and could force a delay. Scientists have been waiting for Dawn to rise since July, when the mission was put off because of the more pressing need to launch NASA's latest Mars lander, the Phoenix. Once Phoenix rocketed away in August, that cleared the way for Dawn. "For the people in the...
  • NASA Asteroid [Dawn] Mission Won't Launch This Year

    01/21/2006 2:15:30 PM PST · by Fitzcarraldo · 9 replies · 285+ views
    Space.com ^ | 21 January 2006 | Alicia Chang
    LOS ANGELES (AP)—A NASA spacecraft built to explore two of the solar system's largest asteroids won't launch this year because the space agency is dealing with cost overruns and technical issues in the project. The planned summer launch of the Dawn spacecraft has been indefinitely postponed, said Andrew Dantzler, director of NASA's solar system division. Mission managers had been ordered to halt work on Dawn last fall while the project was assessed by an independent review team, which is expected to present its findings to NASA on Jan. 27. Even if NASA gives Dawn the green light, it would take...