August 15, 2018

Pluto probe’s extended mission approved, but new Dawn destination denied

July 2, 2016

NASA managers formally approved the New Horizons mission another speedy encounter with an object at the frontier of the solar system, but denied a request from scientists to redirect the Dawn spacecraft to visit a third destination in the asteroid belt, opting to keep it in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, officials said Friday.

NASA must decide soon on Dawn mission’s next act

June 30, 2016

NASA managers face a July 12 deadline to decide whether to send the Dawn spacecraft on an unplanned visit to a third object in the asteroid belt or keep the probe at dwarf planet Ceres until it runs out of fuel next year, officials said this week.

Asteroid probe confirmed on good trajectory after Earth flyby

December 14, 2015

A Japanese space probe picked up just the right amount of speed when it flew by Earth earlier this month, using the planet’s gravity to slingshot toward an asteroid scientists think is a primordial leftover from the ancient solar system, mission managers said Monday.

With widespread salts and ices, Ceres in a class of its own

December 10, 2015

The dwarf planet Ceres turns out to be a world with untold wonders, with vivid bright spots likely made of dried mineral salts and hazes apparently triggered by daytime heating, drawing a comparison to comets and strikingly differentiating it from neighboring bodies in the asteroid belt.

Dawn spacecraft moves in for a close-up of Ceres

October 27, 2015

Entering the last chapter of an eight-year mission, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is spiraling closer to the dwarf planet Ceres to its final planned orbit less than 235 miles from the icy world, a perch that will furnish fresh data to geologists eager to explain mysterious bright markings that have captivated scientists since the beginning of the year.

NASA turning to U.S. industry to build asteroid redirect craft

October 26, 2015

NASA is seeking proposals from U.S. satellite manufacturers interested in building the spacecraft bus for the agency’s initiative to pluck a boulder from an asteroid and drive it into lunar orbit, with plans to select multiple winners for study contracts next year.

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