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Blogs

Dawn Journal

Dawn Journal: Patiently Accelerating

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.

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

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.

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Dawn Journal: Taking Up Residence in the Asteroid Belt

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.

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

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.

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Dawn Journal: Earth Catches Up

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2009/09/02 12:53 CDT

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.

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Dawn Journal: Quiet Cruise

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2009/07/31 05:47 CDT

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

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Dawn Journal: Testing Flight Software 8.0

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2009/05/27 07:11 CDT

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

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Dawn Journal: Upgrades!

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2009/04/29 05:52 CDT

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

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Dawn Journal: Safe Without Safe Mode

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2009/04/06 12:45 CDT

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

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Dawn Journal: Safely Past Mars

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2009/03/09 05:47 CDT

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

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