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Blog Archive

 

Dawn Journal: A Bit of Perspective

Marc Rayman • September 05, 2018

Like its human colleagues, Dawn started out on Earth, but now its permanent residence in the solar system, Ceres, is far, far away. Let's bring this cosmic landscape into perspective.

Dawn Journal: Denouement

Marc Rayman • September 04, 2018

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.

Dawn Journal: Going Out on a High...Or Maybe a Low

Marc Rayman • July 18, 2018

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.

Dawn Journal: Spiralling Down

Marc Rayman • June 15, 2018

Propelled by the perfect combination of xenon ions, hydrazine rocket propellant and adrenaline, Dawn is on the verge of its most ambitious exploits yet.

Dawn Journal: Getting Elliptical

Marc Rayman • May 25, 2018

For the first time in almost a year, the Dawn mission control room at JPL is aglow with blue.

Dawn Journal: The Final Countdown

Marc Rayman • April 02, 2018

The Dawn mission has only one revolution to go before the spacecraft begins the final campaign of its long and rewarding deep-space adventure.

Dawn Journal: 4 Billion Miles

Marc Rayman • January 17, 2018

Permanently in residence at dwarf planet Ceres, Dawn is now preparing to add some finishing touches to its mission.

Dawn Journal: Second Extended Mission

Marc Rayman • November 03, 2017

Building on the successes of its primary mission and its first extended mission, NASA has approved the veteran explorer for a second extended mission.

Dawn Journal: 10 Years in Space

Marc Rayman • October 04, 2017

A decade after leaving its first home in the solar system, Dawn is healthy and successful at its current residence around Ceres.

Dawn Journal: Still More Science

Marc Rayman • July 11, 2017

Orbiting the only dwarf planet inside the orbit of Neptune, Dawn is healthy and continuing to carry out its assignments at Ceres, which includes keeping an eye on cosmic rays.

Dawn Journal: Adaptations

Marc Rayman • May 30, 2017

On the other side of the solar system, invisible by virtue both of the blinding glare of the sun and by the vastness of the distance, Dawn is continuing its remarkable cosmic adventure.

Learn the rocket equation, part 2

David Shortt • May 05, 2017

In the second and final chapter of our series, we’ll explore what the rocket equation has to say about travel through the solar system, using the example of launching a rocket to Pluto.

Dawn Journal: On Course for Opposition

Marc Rayman • May 01, 2017

The Dawn spacecraft is about to swing into a new orbital path to observe the enigmatic "bright spots" in Occator Crater on Ceres—among other targets.

Dawn Journal: Bonus Plans

Marc Rayman • March 31, 2017

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.

Dawn Journal: Intricate Maneuvers

Marc Rayman • March 02, 2017

The Dawn mission is executing an ambitious bonus goal recently devised for its extended mission. Mission Manager and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman brings us his monthly update.

Dawn Journal: A New Perspective on Ceres

Marc Rayman • February 01, 2017

Dawn has moved into its sixth orbital phase, with a new sun angle that provides an opportunity to gain a new perspective on the asteroid Ceres.

Dawn Journal: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Marc Rayman • January 03, 2017

Dawn is concluding a remarkable year of exploring dwarf planet Ceres. Chief Engineer and Mission Manager Marc Rayman brings us his latest update.

Spaceflight in 2017, part 2: Robots beyond Earth orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2016

What's ahead for our intrepid space explorers in 2017? It'll be the end of Cassini, but not before the mission performs great science close to the rings. OSIRIS-REx will fly by Earth, and Chang'e 5 will launch to the Moon, as a host of other spacecraft continue their ongoing missions.

Dawn Journal: Maneuvering for Science

Marc Rayman • November 29, 2016

Dawn is completing another elegant spiral around dwarf planet Ceres, maneuvering to its sixth science orbit. Chief Engineer and Mission Manager Marc Rayman brings us his latest update.

Dawn Journal: 5th Mapping Orbit

Marc Rayman • November 01, 2016

Dawn just completed another successful observation campaign at Ceres from its latest mapping orbit. Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman brings us his monthly update.

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