NASA says goodbye to Dawn mission: what made it important [Video]
After 11 years in space, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft mission is over. After two failed communication sessions on October 31 and November 1, the agency concluded that Dawn has finally ran out of fuel, thus ending the “mission that studied time capsules from the solar system’s earliest chapter”. Take a look at the video below to learn what made this mission so unique.
Launched in 2007 to visit the two largest objects in the main asteroid belt, the spacecraft Dawn finally ran out of fuel (hydrazine), NASA believes. The Dawn can no longer communicate with mission control or turn its solar panels to the Sun to recharge. Currently, it is in orbit around Ceres (dwarf planet), where it is going to remain for the next 20 – or potentially even 50 – years.
According to NASA, Darwin mission has achieved “many firsts”, and provided scientists with information on “how important location was to the way objects in the early solar system formed and evolved” and well as reinforced “the idea that dwarf planets could have hosted oceans over a significant part of their history – and potentially still do”.
Alternativelly, you can visit NASA website devoted to the mission here: Dawn Mission Overview