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Apr 02 2015

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Update on DAWN

Dawn Journal: Preparing to Photograph Ceres. Click on the article for TONS on info on the mission.

There haven’t been images of Ceres recently because DAWN is still working on getting into a workable orbit. It’s still behind Ceres and at best can only see it as a crescent.

It was captured by Ceres’ gravity on March 6th, but it continued flying past the dwarf planet until March 18 (Apodemeter) when, at 46,800 miles, it started falling back toward it. OpNav 6 occurs on 10 April, and actual imaging operations will start on 24 April.

DAWN will operate at 4 different altitudes to thoroughly observe Ceres:

apping
Orbit
Dawn code
name
Tentative dates (changes are guaranteed) Altitude
in miles
(kilometers)
Resolution in
feet (meters)
per pixel
Resolution compared to Hubble Orbit
period
Equivalent
distance of
a soccer ball
1 RC3 April 23 –
May 9
8,400
(13,500)
4,200
(1,300)
24 15
days
10 feet
(3.0 meters)
Survey June 6-30 2,700
(4,400)
1,400
(410)
72 3.1
days
3.3 feet
(1.0 meters)
HAMO Aug 4 –
Oct 15
900
(1,450)
450
(140)
215 19
hours
13 inches
(33 cm)
LAMO Dec 8 –
end of mission
230
(375)
120
(35)
850 5.5
hours
3.3 inches
(8.5 cm)

And the author at the link even provides a scale of the orbits:

Tons more at the link above.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/04/02/update-on-dawn/

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