Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dawn Asteroid Belt Probe to Leave Asteroid Vesta for Planetoid Ceres

We have probes, rovers, robots, telescopes and satellites exploring everything from the Earths radiation belt all the way out to the edge of the solar system as Pioneer leaves the sun's influence. One of the coolest missions out there is the Dawn Spacecraft exploring the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter. After a 14 month probe of the giant asteroid Vesta the Dawn spacecraft is departing for the biggest object in the belt; the planetoid Ceres.
The $466 million Dawn mission launched in 2007 to explore Vesta and Ceres, two huge and ancient objects that have borne witness to most of the solar system's history. Scientists hope Dawn's observations of these two bodies can shed light on our cosmic neighborhood's earliest days.
Dawn traveled about 1.7 billion miles  to reach Vesta, and the trip to the 590-mile-wide Ceres will roll the probe's odometer reading up to 3 billion miles or so, officials said.
Click image for more on the Dawn mission 

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