[extropy-chat] The Dawn mission

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Mon Feb 9 10:40:28 UTC 2004

The Dawn mission has been confirmed! This is a NASA mission that is
going to the asteroid belt to visit Ceres ('planetoid') and Vesta.
The spacecraft has an ion drive and will spend some months in orbit
around each asteroid. The design work (last two years; space
agencies involved: NASA+ASI+DLR+ESA) is more or less completed, the
parts are on hand or ordered, and some building has begun (Entering
phase C). It's a tight schedule and I hope we didn't lose time from
the last weeks.

This mission was cancelled over Christmas, and all of the teams
(I'm on the Italian infrared spectrometer team) had some hard work
in  the last weeks  to address some general mission  concerns as well
as well as reminding the space agencies of the particular science
involved. I hope it is smooth here on out. Launch is in 2006.


Amara Graps, PhD
Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (IFSI)
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF),
Adjunct Assistant Professor Astronomy, AUR,
Roma, ITALIA     Amara.Graps at ifsi.rm.cnr.it

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