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Three mission updates: Trouble for Dawn at Ceres; A new plan for Juno; OSIRIS-REx coming together

Emily Lakdawalla • July 09, 2015

With all the focus on Pluto it's hard to keep up with all the other space missions currently exploring other planets. Here are brief updates on three of them.

Dawn Journal: Ceres' Intriguing Geology

Marc Rayman • June 30, 2015

Dawn is continuing to unveil a Ceres of mysteries at the first dwarf planet discovered. Mission Director Marc Rayman gives us an update.

Dawn Journal: Spiralling Closer to Ceres

Marc Rayman • May 29, 2015

Dawn's Chief Engineer and Mission Director Marc Rayman gives an update as the spacecraft's orbit takes it even closer to the dwarf planet Ceres.

Tons of fun with the latest Ceres image releases from Dawn

Emily Lakdawalla • May 22, 2015

Fantastic new images of Ceres continue to spill out of the Dawn mission, and armchair scientists all over the world are zooming into them, exploring them, and trying to solve the puzzles that they contain.

Two Months from Pluto!

Paul Schenk • May 19, 2015

Two months. Eight and half weeks. 58 days. It's a concept almost too difficult to grasp: we are on Pluto's doorstep.

A week's worth of "RC3" images from Dawn at Ceres

Emily Lakdawalla • May 05, 2015

Now that Dawn is in its science orbit at Ceres, the mission has been releasing new images every weekday!

Dawn Journal: Getting Down to Science at Ceres

Marc Rayman • May 01, 2015

Dawn Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman gives a status update on the mission, having finally arrived at dwarf planet Ceres.

New views of three worlds: Ceres, Pluto, and Charon

Emily Lakdawalla • April 16, 2015

New Horizons took its first color photo of Pluto and Charon, while Dawn obtained a 20-frame animation looking down on the north pole of a crescent Ceres.

Dawn Journal: Preparing to Photograph Ceres

Marc Rayman • April 01, 2015

Dawn's Chief Engineer and Mission Director, Marc Rayman, explains why we haven't seen any new images of Ceres—and when we can expect them.

Ceres Gets Real; Pluto Lurks

Paul Schenk • March 27, 2015

Although we are still along way from understanding this fascinating little body, Ceres is finally becoming a real planet with recognizable features! And that's kinda cool.

LPSC 2015: First results from Dawn at Ceres: provisional place names and possible plumes

Emily Lakdawalla • March 19, 2015

Three talks on Tuesday at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference concerned the first results from Dawn at Ceres. Chris Russell showed a map of "quads" with provisional names on Ceres, Andreas Nathues showed that Ceres' bright spot might be an area of plume-like activity, and Francesca Zambon showed color and temperature variations across the dwarf planet.

Mini mission updates: Dawn in orbit; Curiosity short circuit; Rosetta image release; Hayabusa2 in cruise phase; and more

Emily Lakdawalla • March 06, 2015

Dawn has successfully entered orbit at Ceres, becoming the first mission to orbit a dwarf planet and the first to orbit two different bodies beyond Earth. I also have updates on Curiosity, Rosetta, Mars Express, Hayabusa2, the Chang'e program, InSIGHT, and OSIRIS-REx.

Dawn Journal: Ceres Orbit Insertion!

Marc Rayman • March 06, 2015

Dawn's Chief Engineer, Marc Rayman, gives an update on the mission's highly anticipated arrival at Ceres.

Seeing Ceres: Then and Now

Paul Gilster • March 06, 2015

Technology writer Paul Gilster shares his interest in how we depict astronomical objects, focusing on the dwarf planet Ceres.

Watch Ceres rotate: A guide to interpreting Dawn's images

Emily Lakdawalla • March 03, 2015

NASA held a press briefing on the Dawn mission yesterday, sharing some new images and early interpretations of them. I see lots of things that intrigue me, and I'm looking forward to Dawn investigating them in more detail. I invite you to check out these photos yourself, and offer you some guidance on things to look for.

At last, Ceres is a geological world

Emily Lakdawalla • February 25, 2015

I've been resisting all urges to speculate on what kinds of geological features are present on Ceres, until now. Finally, Dawn has gotten close enough that the pictures it has returned show geology: bright spots, flat-floored craters, and enigmatic grooves.

Dawn Journal: Ceres' Deepening Mysteries

Marc Rayman • February 25, 2015

Even as we discover more about Ceres, some mysteries only deepen. Mission Director Marc Rayman gives an update on Dawn as it moves ever closer to its next target.

Ceres coming into focus

Emily Lakdawalla • February 06, 2015

The Dawn mission released new images of Ceres yesterday, taken on February 4, when Dawn had approached to within 145,000 kilometers. More details are coming into view, and they're fascinating. For one thing, there's not just one white spot any more: there are several.

Ceres Coming Into View

Paul Schenk • February 03, 2015

Dawn is on approach to Ceres, the largest of the asteroids, and is starting to resolve features.

Dawn Journal: Closing in on Ceres

Marc Rayman • January 30, 2015

Dawn's chief engineer Marc Rayman gives an update on the mission as it gets ever closer to its next target: The dwarf planet Ceres.

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