Now in its third year of orbiting a distant dwarf planet, a spacecraft from Earth is as active as ever. Like a master artist, Dawn is working hard to add fine details to its stunning portrait of Ceres.
Nine years ago today, Dawn set sail on an epic journey of discovery and adventure. The intrepid explorer has sailed the cosmic seas and collected treasures that far exceeded anything anticipated or even hoped for.
Following the conclusion of Dawn's ambitious 8.8-year prime mission on June 30, the spacecraft has been gathering a wealth of data with all sensors in its extended mission as it orbits closer to Ceres than the International Space Station is to Earth.
One year after taking up its new residence in the solar system, Dawn is continuing to witness extraordinary sights on dwarf planet Ceres. Mission Director Marc Rayman brings us his monthly update on Dawn's status.
At last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, I enjoyed a large number of talks about Ceres. Now in its Low-Altitude Mapping Orbit, Dawn is showering scientists with high-resolution, color data.