NASA’s Dawn space probe completes its orbit around dwarf planet Ceres
NASA’s Dawn space probe has completed its orbit around dwarf planet Ceres which is the largest object in the Solar System between Mars and Jupiter.
With the completion of orbit, Dawn probe has become first spacecraft to visit dwarf planet.
Dawn has taken 7.5 years to reach the orbit of Ceres. Scientists are hoping to glean information from the Ceres which can tell them about the Solar System’s beginnings after its formation four and a half billion ago.
Earlier during its journey from 2011 to 2012, the spacecraft also had explored and surveyed the giant asteroid Vesta. It had delivered new insights and thousands of images from the asteroid.
About Dawn space probe
- Launched– In 2007 by NASA.
- Objective- to study the two massive protoplanets of the asteroid belt: Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres.
- The mission is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
- Probes major components are contributed by NASA’s European partners i.e. from German Aerospace Center, Italian Space Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute.
- Dawn space probe is the first NASA exploratory mission to use ion propulsion to enter orbits.