February 18, 2020

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.

Dawn mission expected to go into overtime at Ceres

April 6, 2016

NASA’s robotic Dawn spacecraft is now getting its closest look at the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest resident of the asteroid belt, and mission managers say the probe has enough leftover propellant to keep flying into early 2017, several months beyond the prescribed end of its survey.

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.

Dawn gets better look at bright spots on Ceres

September 9, 2015

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, nearly halfway through its exploration of the dwarf planet Ceres, has returned its best images yet of a mysterious grouping of bright spots inside a crater on the Texas-sized world, bolstering evidence that Ceres is geologically alive.

Bright blobs on Ceres ready for their close-up

June 10, 2015

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft got its first glimpse of mysterious bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres on final approach early this year, and scientists Thursday released the sharpest view of the features yet.

Dawn enters new orbit closer to Ceres

June 7, 2015

NASA’s Dawn asteroid explorer has arrived at its new perch 2,700 miles from the dwarf planet Ceres, a vantage point scientists say will yield better views as the probe continues to step closer to the surface.

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