Friday , December 4 2020

Asteroid hunter: Dawn probe completed work



The probe investigated a dwarf planet and an asteroid. At the moment, the Dawn spacecraft is expected to be located approximately 257 million kilometers from Earth in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres – the largest and most massive celestial body in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Zond_Dawn_05.11.18

The device entered the final orbit at Ceres in June this year, and the other day NASA reported that it could not establish a connection to the probe: it appears that Dawn's fuel reserves were running out and she could no longer send solar panels to the Sun send a radio antenna to Earth.

At the same time, as expected, the device will remain in orbit for at least the next 20 years, while with a 99% probability it will remain in orbit for longer – about 50 years; what will happen next is not clear: it is possible that the device remains in the orbit of the dwarf planet as a constant satellite.

Dawn, equipped with three xenon ion engines, was launched in July 2007. First, the device reached the orbit of Mars and, after having made a gravitational maneuver around the planet, went to the asteroid belt.

In 2011, the probe photographed the first asteroid Vesta: it stayed in Vesta for about a year, after which it flew to Ceres. "The incredible photos of Vesta and Ceres and the data on these planets collected by the Dawn spacecraft are crucial to understanding the history and evolution of our solar system," said the team's NASA Thomas Zurbuchen, saying that the device has been disabled.

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Asteroid hunter: Dawn probe completed work

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