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Thread: Progress of Dawn in the solar system

  1. #61
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    There is likely to NO fuel left after 1 Ceres.

  2. #62
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    It appears that the Dawn Team had some adventures over the last month with their spacecraft.

  3. #63
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    Dawn has crept into Mars orbit. It will pass outside of the orbit for the next year before receiving the gravity boost in March of next year.

  4. #64
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    Will it be taking pics of Mars during the 2009 gravity assist?

  5. #65
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    I haven't heard of any plans. Considering that we already have several craft on and around Mars, I'm not sure they would be doing anything more than testing their cameras.

  6. #66
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    Dawn has now crept past Mars orbit. Mars is crossing Dawn's orbit. Dawn will be busy thrusting (here is the latest journal posting) until late this year. By that time Mars will have caught up with it and Dawn will fall toward Mars and get an assist next spring.

  7. #67
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    Another Journal posting wherein Dr. Rayman appears to be channelling Douglas Adams.

  8. #68
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    Interesting things in the good doctor's recent post.

    Dawn began to fall toward the sun on the 8th of this month. The target date for Mars encounter will be 18 Feb of next year. From their map, it appears that the thrusters will be turned off in October and Dawn will coast for nearly a year.

  9. #69
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    Time again for the good Doctor's update of the Dawn Mission.

    Interesting use of the word 'wont'. . . Anyway, Dawn has lost about 67 kg since launch (~16% of its total fuel).

  10. #70
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    If the 'Where is Dawn' map is accurate, the thrusters will be turned off sometime in the next day or two and will stay off until next spring.

  11. #71
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    Well, I kinda figured I had jumped the gun a bit with my last post. According to the newest Journal entry thrusting was stopped at pretty much right at this moment. Except for a couple of brief thrusts, Dawn will coast until June.

  12. #72
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    Dr. Rayman has a new journal post out wherein he explains the difficulties of hitting a moving target you can barely see.

    I want my remote-controlled archery set!

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Jubjub View Post
    I want my remote-controlled archery set!
    Thanks LJ, I hadn't noticed this journal entry till now.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  14. #74
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    Time for the monthly ramblings from Dr. Rayman.

    The gravity boost from Mars is now set for 17 February. The good doctor has referenced an interesting clock wherein the shorter hand is the minute hand. That would definitely be a prank to pull on somebody. Dawn will orbit a body the farthest yet from the ecliptic. The conjunction that occurred in December will not be repeated because Dawn will be sufficiently north of the sun to remain in constant contact with Earth.

  15. #75
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    A highly technical but completely comprehensible posting from Dr. Rayman. Well worth reading and stunningly educational.

    The Mars encounter is now set for 18 Feb at 0029 UTC (17 Feb 1629 PST). Thrusting will begin again about the middle of June. Dawn's inclination will change by about 5.2 degrees, placing it closer to Vesta's plane. It will also increase its aphelion distance by 0.15 AU. Dawn's own thrusting will have to account for the remaining 0.17 AU to reach its first destination.

  16. #76
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    A follow-up posting from Dr. Rayman with details about the Mars encounter.

  17. #77
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    If all has gone well, Dawn should passing about 540 kilometers above the surface Mars at this moment.

  18. #78
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    From spaceweather.com:

    SPACECRAFT BUZZES MARS: NASA's Dawn spacecraft had a close encounter with Mars last night, flying just 341 miles above the Red Planet's surface. The gravity-assist maneuver propelled Dawn toward the asteroid belt where it will orbit and explore Vesta and Ceres beginning in 2011. Mission managers say the Mars flyby images will be beamed back to Earth on or about Feb. 24th. Stay tuned.
    2011 is definitely a year to look forward to, what with a different spacecraft scheduled for orbital insertion (Mercury) that year as well.

  19. #79
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    Well done.

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  21. #81
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    A new journal posting from Dawn. You may have heard that Dawn went into safe mode during the Mars encounter. He does an excellent job of explaining why it did so.

  22. #82
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    Actually, no, the safe mode issue was new to me, but good write-up indeed.
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  23. #83
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    New Journal posting talking mostly about the major software upgrade.

    Note that Dawn passed perihelion on 16 April.

  24. #84
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    The long coast is nearing its end. According to the most recent journal posting, the #2 thruster will be turned on 8 June and long term thrusting will continue until Vesta is reached in August 2011.

    Also noted is that Dawn will have completed a full orbit on 3 June. It will complete a second orbit while orbiting Vesta. Its mission at Ceres will be complete before it finishes the third orbit.

  25. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Jubjub View Post
    ... the #2 thruster will be turned on 8 June and long term thrusting will continue until Vesta is reached in August 2011. ...
    Thanks for tracking this for us! Dawn should return some great results.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  26. #86
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    will it study the rest of the belt or just the big rock's?

  27. #87
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    If they can find other objects with a relatively short distance (relatively short having a different meaning this far from the Sun) they will direct New Horizons to rendezvous and take pictures.

  28. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Jubjub View Post
    If they can find other objects with a relatively short distance (relatively short having a different meaning this far from the Sun) they will direct New Horizons to rendezvous and take pictures.
    Dawn, presumably? I don't think New Horizons will ever be near the asteroid belt again.

    Thanks for your updates, it's good to be reminded of all the good stuff still coming.
    ____________
    "Dumb all over, a little ugly on the side." -- Frank Zappa
    "Your right to hold an opinion is not being contested. Your expectation that it be taken seriously is." -- Jason Thompson
    "This is really very simple, but unfortunately it's very complicated." -- publius

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  29. #89
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    Thanks, slang, I'm trying to follow too many long space missions. I haven't posted any of the good doctor's journal postings because . . . let's face it, this is the really boring part of the mission.

    I'm posting now simply to say that Dawn is now 1.5 AU from the sun. It has a decent separation from Mars both in forward motion and in motion above the plane of the solar system.

  30. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Jubjub View Post
    Thanks, slang, I'm trying to follow too many long space missions.
    You may like this visual graph of active interplanetary probes over 60 years. I update it every few months.

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