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Dawn Journal: Hydrazine Haste Makes Waste

Marc Rayman • December 05, 2012

By saving fuel, Dawn will arrive at Ceres in 2015 with about half of the 45.6-kilogram (101-pound) hydrazine supply it had when it rocketed away from Cape Canaveral.

Images from the long-awaited Dawn Vesta data set

Daniel Macháček • November 29, 2012

A few days ago, the Dawn mission finally published their archival data. During the year of delay I often looked with anticipation to the Planetary Data System to check whether or not images were there, and I am delighted that they are finally available. Was the wait worth it? Definitely!

Planetary Radio: A Dawn Mission Update

Mat Kaplan • November 20, 2012

A Planetary Radio status report from the Dawn mission's Marc Rayman, accompanied by a fascinating video tour of Marc's at-home collection of space information and memorabilia.

Dawn Vesta Data is publicly available (for real this time!)

Emily Lakdawalla • November 16, 2012

After a false start earlier this year, the first chunk of Dawn Framing Camera data from Vesta has finally made it to the Planetary Data System. As a first step to understanding the data set, I've built some index pages to these cool images.

Dawn Journal: Scary-Good Ion Propulsion

Marc Rayman • October 31, 2012

Dawn continues to raise its orbit en route to its 2015 date with Ceres. Also, Marc prepares his high-energy Halloween costume.

Dawn Journal: Five years since launch

Marc Rayman • September 27, 2012

On the fifth anniversary of its launch, Dawn is on the way to Ceres.

Spring arrives to Vesta's north pole, as Dawn departs, plus a request for citizen scientists

Emily Lakdawalla • September 11, 2012

Dawn's last images of Vesta peek into previously shadowy north polar territory. As the spacecraft leaves Vesta behind, its science team requests help from the public.

Dawn Journal: Back to interplanetary space

Marc Rayman • September 06, 2012

After more than a year in orbit, Dawn has left Vesta, beginning the spacecraft's journey to Ceres.

What's Up in the Solar System in September 2012

Emily Lakdawalla • August 31, 2012

It's an active time in interplanetary exploration! Curiosity has begun roving Mars, and Opportunity's not wasting any time either. Dawn has just departed Vesta and begun the more than two-year cruise to Ceres. Juno is in the middle of a big deep-space maneuver, setting up next year's Earth flyby.

Pretty picture: Vesta's crater Aelia in high resolution

Emily Lakdawalla • August 13, 2012

I think my favorite features on Vesta are its streaky craters. Today's image release shows one of the streakiest: Aelia, a little crater on the flank of a larger one, near Vesta's equator.

Dawn Journal: The long, slow goodbye

Marc Rayman • July 26, 2012

Dawn has completed the final intensive phase of its exploration of Vesta, and it has now begun its gradual departure for Ceres.

Dawn Journal: Seeing Vesta in a New Light

Marc Rayman • July 06, 2012

Once again Dawn is diligently mapping Vesta, circling the ancient protoplanet about twice a day, observing the signatures of Vesta's tortured history.

What's Up in the Solar System in July 2012

Emily Lakdawalla • July 02, 2012

Welcome to my monthly roundup of the activities of our intrepid robotic emissaries across the solar system! Curiosity is about to land; Opportunity has rolled through sol 3000; Odyssey is back online, having switched to a spare reaction wheel; Dawn is now in High-Altitude Mapping Orbit 2; and Cassini is taking advantage of its newly inclined orbit to get spectacular series of images of Saturn's rings.

Dawn Journal: Riding gravitational currents to HAMO2

Marc Rayman • June 05, 2012

Dawn is beginning its departure from Vesta, spiraling upward from its low-altitude mapping orbit to a higher one from which it will map north polar terrain not visible during the earlier mapping orbit.

Dawn Journal: Rising from a happily long LAMO

Marc Rayman • May 03, 2012

Marc Rayman's monthly check-in with the Dawn mission describes the achievements of the spacecraft in its Low-Altitude Mapping Orbit (including near-global high-resolution imaging!) and explains what's next.

Cheat sheets for Vesta's craters and Dawn's Vesta timeline

Emily Lakdawalla • April 19, 2012

I made myself a cheat sheet to many of Vesta's distinctive-looking craters, and also wrote down a list of the major dates in the timeline of Dawn's exploration of Vesta.

Dawn Journal: Saluting the Sun

Marc Rayman • March 29, 2012

On April 18, Dawn will attain its greatest separation yet from Earth, nearly 520 million kilometers. Well beyond Mars, fewer than a dozen spacecraft have ever operated so far from Earth.

Dawn Journal: Bonus time at low altitude

Marc Rayman • February 29, 2012

Dawn is continuing its exploits at Vesta, performing detailed studies of the colossal asteroid from its low altitude mapping orbit (LAMO).

More Dawn Vesta approach images: First color views

Emily Lakdawalla • February 17, 2012

On June 30, Dawn stopped thrusting for a full Vestian day -- five hours and 20 minutes -- and just watched the asteroid rotate. But unlike the previous observations, they used all of Dawn's color filters to acquire the best-ever color photos of the lumpy world.

Dawn images of Vesta! Released!! For everyone!!!

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2012

Some time in the last few days, the Dawn team made public the first preliminary version of the first release of their data from the Vesta phase of their mission.

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