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Dawn Journal

Dawn Journal: Forever Farther From Earth Than the Sun

Marc Rayman • February 26, 2010

Pushing ever farther into space, deeper into the asteroid belt, Dawn is continuing to progress smoothly on its solar system journey.

Dawn Journal: Thruster Two's Time to Shine

Marc Rayman • February 10, 2010

Dawn is outfitted with three ion thrusters, assigned the heartwarming names thruster #1, thruster #2, and thruster #3.

Dawn Journal: Patiently Accelerating

Marc Rayman • January 05, 2010

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.

Dawn Journal: In the Asteroid Belt, but Far from Asteroids

Marc Rayman • December 01, 2009

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.

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.

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.

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