Posted by Marc Rayman on 2010/01/05 02:51 CST
Dawn usually interrupts ion thrusting once a week for about eight hours to point its main antenna to Earth. On November 30, however, instead of resuming thrusting, it dutifully followed different instructions that were stored onboard.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/04 01:29 CST
While we don't have Moon bases, we do have plenty of spacecraft. Before I get into my more detailed look at the activities of the 20-odd spacecraft wandering about the solar system, I thought I'd look ahead to 2010 more generally and see what the year has in store for us.
Posted by Marc Rayman on 2009/12/01 11:22 CST
Dawn entered the main asteroid belt on November 13. As it ventures ever deeper into this vast collection of material between Mars and Jupiter, it may be tempting to think of the spacecraft constantly dodging asteroids.
Posted by Marc Rayman on 2009/11/02 11:32 CST
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.
Posted by Marc Rayman on 2009/09/28 03:23 CDT
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.
Posted by Alan Stern on 2009/05/18 03:56 CDT
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.
Posted by Marc Rayman on 2009/01/30 10:51 CST
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.
Posted by Marc Rayman on 2008/11/30 10:12 CST
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.
Posted by Marc Rayman on 2008/09/30 12:13 CDT
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.