NASA’s historic Dawn mission to asteroid belt comes to end’

NASA’s historic Dawn mission to asteroid belt comes to end’


  1. NASA’s pioneering Dawn spacecraft in the asteroid belt has run out of fuel, ending its historic 11-year mission that unravelled many mysteries of our solar system.

Important Facts:

  1. About Dawn Spacecraft:
  • The $467million Dawn mission was launched in 2007 to study the protoplanet Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres.
  • Propelled by ion engines, the spacecraft achieved many firsts along the way.
  • In 2011, when Dawn arrived at Vesta ( the second largest world in the main asteroid belt), the spacecraft became the first to orbit a body in the region between Mars and Jupiter.
  • In 2015, when Dawn went into orbit around Ceres (a dwarf planet that is also the largest world in the asteroid belt), the mission became the first to visit a dwarf planet and go into orbit around two destinations beyond Earth.
  1. Significance of the findings:
  • The astounding images and data that Dawn collected from Vesta and Ceres are critical to understanding the history and evolution of our solar system,
  • Dawn also reinforced the idea that dwarf planets could have hosted oceans over a significant part of their history.
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