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Dawn Journal

Dawn Journal: Vesta to choose Dawn's arrival time

Marc Rayman • May 30, 2011

Dawn remains healthy and on course as it continues to approach Vesta. Thrusting with its ion propulsion system, as it has for most of its interplanetary journey so far, the spacecraft is gradually matching its solar orbit to that of the protoplanet just ahead.

Dawn Journal: On the threshold of a new world

Marc Rayman • May 03, 2011

Dawn is on the threshold of a new world. After more than three and a half years of interplanetary travel covering in excess of 2.6 billion kilometers (1.6 billion miles), we are closing in on our first destination. Dawn is starting its approach to Vesta.

Dawn Journal: Calibrating instruments and thrusters on Vesta approach

Marc Rayman • April 07, 2011

Three and a half years after launch, Dawn continues its travels around the Sun, maneuvering to take the same orbital path as Vesta. The spacecraft has spent most of the past month gently thrusting with its ion propulsion system. Some of the thrusting this month, however, was not designed to propel Dawn to Vesta.

Dawn Journal: HAMO2; the destination glows bright

Marc Rayman • March 09, 2011

Deep in the asteroid belt, Dawn continues thrusting with its ion propulsion system. The spacecraft is making excellent progress in reshaping its orbit around the sun to match that of its destination, the unexplored world Vesta, with arrival now less than five months away.

Dawn Journal: ORT ORT ORT

Marc Rayman • February 03, 2011

Dawn continues its flight through the asteroid belt, steadily heading toward its July rendezvous with Vesta, where it will take up residence for a year. On January 10, Dawn performed some of the activities that it will execute in its low altitude mapping orbit (LAMO) at Vesta.

Dawn Journal: LAMO (Low Altitude Mapping Orbit)

Marc Rayman • January 05, 2011

Dawn finishes 2010 much as it began the year, thrusting with its ion propulsion system in steady pursuit of a distant world.

Dawn Journal: Attitude Adjustment

Marc Rayman • December 07, 2010

Dawn is maintaining its smooth and steady course through the solar system as it gradually closes in on Vesta.

Dawn Journal: Approaching Conjunction

Marc Rayman • November 03, 2010

Continuing its journey to collect treats in the main asteroid belt, Dawn is making excellent progress toward its July 2011 rendezvous with protoplanet Vesta.

Dawn Journal: Third Anniversary in Space, and How to Map Vesta

Marc Rayman • September 28, 2010

On the third anniversary of traveling through the solar system on its own since dispatching Dawn on a separate journey, Earth continues to orbit the sun in much the same way it has been.

Dawn Journal: Getting Warmer, Farther from the Sun?

Marc Rayman • September 02, 2010

Dawn is now so far from the sun that even with its tremendous solar arrays, it does not receive enough sunlight to generate sufficient electrical power to operate all systems and still achieve maximum thrust.

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