The Dawn Mission
Illustration of the Dawn spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/McREL
The NASA Dawn Mission aims to explore the two large asteroids Vesta and Ceres. With help of Dawn, we hope to learn more about the early formation of the solar system. There are three instruments onboard the spacecraft: a spectrometer (VIR), a gamma ray and neutron detector (GRaND), and a camera (FC) built with the participation of DLR Berlin. Dawn was launched in September 2007 and visited Vesta from August 2011 to August 2012. It will arrive at Ceres in April 2015.
The Dawn spacecraft visited Vesta from August 2011 to September 2012. The Framing Camera took about 16,000 clear filter images with a resolution of down to 20 m/pixel in multiple mission phases: Survey, HAMO-1 (High Altitude Mapping Orbit), LAMO (Low Altitude Mapping Orbit) and HAMO-2. During the two HAMO phases, Vesta’s surface was observed at different angles to enable stereo reconstruction. These images were used to create a digital terrain model (DLR department of Planetary Geodesy http://www.dlr.de/pf/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-170/226_read-397/), which is used to construct image mosaics and maps. The maps are available on http://dawn_gis.dlr.de/. DLR presented an image of the day for the duration of Dawns visit at Vesta at Dawn DLR http://www.dlr.de/pf/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-8065/.
For further information see also:
DLR - Dawn http://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-10522NASA - Dawn http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/DLR – Image of the day http://www.dlr.de/pf/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-8065/