Dawn back on! 2007!

  1. From the NY Times Science section:

    Weeks After Killing It, NASA Resurrects Mission to Visit Asteroids


    Hoo-frickin-RA! Frankly I never thought this one had the slightest chance of getting back on the mission list.

    So by 2011 we actually WILL be seeing up close pics of Vesta, and even Ceres!

    OTOH, Starwars fans I think are likely to be AWFULLY disappointed when they finally get to see what a REAL asteroid field looks like ;-). "What! That's it? Where are all the asteroids? Oh for cryin' out loud, Han Solo's grandmother could navigate through that!"
  2. jcsd
  3. tony873004

    tony873004 1,594
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That is awesome news. The amount of science we can get back from Dawn should be tremendous. It will be the first interplanetary craft to actually orbit multiple objects. I hope it has a long extended mission too. It has the possibility of examining 10s of asteroids upclose through flyby missions which would require very low delta v's to accomplish since there are hundreds of thousands of potential targets. There will always be one that's just a couple of meter/s delta v away + a few months travel time.

  4. Not a Star Wars fan myself, but perhaps our asteroid belt isn’t representative of a typical asteroid belt, perhaps other solar systems have a belt which is more densely pack?

    But yes, very good news!
  5. No, not really. Say, if we look at Saturn's rings, that looks like the good ol' asteriod field fans will want to see. It will be packed full of rocks, just like in movies. How about a spacestation between the rings, that would be cool!
  6. Station between Rings? COOL!

    that's just a really cool thought. A station between rings. I wonder if a station would stay put in an orbit between rings. Maybe if it was in the L4/L5 position of a sheparding moon's orbit?

    Regardless, I just love the image that conjures in my head.
  7. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    NASA's Dawn Mission Finally Launched

    NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Enroute to Shed Light on Asteroid Belt - 09.27.07
    Something to which to look forward in years to come.
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