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Dawn Journal: Taking Up Residence in the Asteroid Belt

Marc Rayman • November 02, 2009

Dawn has devoted another month to thrusting with its ion propulsion system, ever with its sights set on its rendezvous with Vesta in July 2011.

Dawn Journal: Good Performance Means a Longer Stay at Vesta!

Marc Rayman • September 28, 2009

Dawn is celebrating the second anniversary of leaving its home planet by engaging in the same function it has performed most of its time in space: with the utmost patience, it is using its ion propulsion system to gradually modify its orbit around the Sun.

Dawn Journal: Earth Catches Up

Marc Rayman • September 02, 2009

As Dawn continues its long solar system journey to match orbits with Vesta and later with Ceres, some readers may note a surprising trend in the statistics for the mission.

Dawn Journal: Quiet Cruise

Marc Rayman • July 31, 2009

Today Dawn is 220 million kilometers (137 million miles) from the star at the solar system's center.

Dawn Journal: Testing Flight Software 8.0

Marc Rayman • May 27, 2009

Dawn's mission continues to go very well, as the spacecraft nears the end of the longest coasting period of its astronomical journey.

Exciting Times Ahead: 2010 Will Sizzle, and 2011 Will Really Cook!

Alan Stern • May 18, 2009

Today, I'm kicking the week off with a look at the unusually intense confluence of far flung planetary exploration that's just around the corner, starting the middle of next year.

Dawn Journal: Upgrades!

Marc Rayman • April 29, 2009

The upgraded Dawn spacecraft is now traveling in a new direction in its orbit around the Sun.

Dawn Journal: Safe Without Safe Mode

Marc Rayman • April 06, 2009

Perhaps what is most noteworthy and satisfying since the last log is not what Dawn did, but rather what it did not do.

Dawn Journal: Safely Past Mars

Marc Rayman • March 09, 2009

Dawn swooped close to Mars and then left it behind on a new course, having taken advantage of Mars's gravity.

Looks like the Dawn flyby of Mars went well

Emily Lakdawalla • February 21, 2009

Looks like the Dawn flyby of Mars went well: here' a photo of Mars taken by Dawn near its closest approach to Mars during its February 17 flyby.

Dawn Journal: Mars Encounter

Marc Rayman • February 13, 2009

Dawn continues to close in on Mars, ready for the gravitational slingshot that will help it on its expedition to the asteroid belt and its quest to gain insights into the evolution of the solar system.

Dawn Journal: Just Missing the Bull's Eye at Mars

Marc Rayman • January 30, 2009

Dawn continues on course for its pas de deux with Mars on February 17. The planet's gravity will gracefully assist the spacecraft on its way to rendezvous with its intended celestial partners Vesta and Ceres in the more distant asteroid belt.

Dawn Journal: Conjunction Junction

Marc Rayman • January 05, 2009

Having fulfilled all of its assignments for 2008, the Dawn spacecraft has been unusually quiescent recently.

Dawn Journal: Aiming Away From a Bull's Eye at Mars

Marc Rayman • November 30, 2008

The Dawn spacecraft is healthy and on course for its flyby of Mars early next year. The planet's gravity will help boost the probe on its way to rendezvous with Vesta.

Dawn Journal: A Pause in Thrusting

Marc Rayman • October 31, 2008

The Dawn spacecraft continues on course and on schedule for its bold campaign to unexplored worlds.

Dawn Journal: One Year Since Launch

Marc Rayman • September 30, 2008

On the first anniversary of its departure from Earth, Dawn continues with what it has been doing for most of its time in space. With the greatest patience, it is gently reshaping its orbit around the Sun with its ion propulsion system.

Dawn Journal: Some Explanations of Orbital Dynamics

Marc Rayman • August 28, 2008

The Dawn spacecraft continues to make good progress on its adventure to unlock scientific secrets hidden deep in the main asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter.

Dawn Journal: We Crave Power!!!

Marc Rayman • August 05, 2008

Dawn continues its flight through the solar system with all systems functioning well.

Dawn Journal: Cruising Past Mars' Orbit

Marc Rayman • June 30, 2008

Now using an ion thruster that had been powered off since October, Dawn continues to make steady progress on its journey deeper into space.

Dawn Journal: Ion Propulsion

Marc Rayman • May 29, 2008

The Dawn mission continues smoothly, as the spacecraft reliably thrusts with its ion propulsion system, demonstrating all the patience of a...well, of an ion-propelled spacecraft!

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