A journey to the beginnings of the Solar System

Dawn - Mission to Vesta and Ceres

Dawn: Eine Mission, zwei Himmelskörper
Dawn: Eine Mission, zwei Himmelskörper
Image 1/1, Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA.

Dawn: Eine Mission, zwei Himmelskörper

Die amerikanische Raumsonde Dawn startete am 27. September 2007. Am 16. Juli 2011 erreichte sie den Asteroiden Vesta und untersuchte ihn bis zum 5. September 2012. Anschließend flog sie zum Zwergplaneten Ceres, an dem sie am 6. März 2015 ankommt. Mit der Dawn-Mission werden zum ersten Mal nacheinander zwei Himmelskörper angesteuert und aus dem Orbit erforscht.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft was launched on 27 September 2007, and has been in space for nearly 11 years exploring the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. They are the most massive objects of the asteroid belt and are located between Mars and Jupiter. Since their formation four and a half billion years ago, the two bodies have probably changed little and are therefore ideal to take a look far into the past, almost back to the dawn of our cosmic home.

The historic mission, which had been extended several times and far exceeded the expectations of the scientists, came to an end on 31 October 2018: radio contact with the probe stopped because it had run out of fuel as expected. But the data acquired until that moment will keep the scientists busy for a long time to come.

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