NASA’s Dawn probe is shifting to its lowermost orbit in its recorded history for a foreground scan of the single dwarf planet within our solar system, Ceres.
At the beginning of this month, NASA’s Dawn will achieve its ultimate orbit above Ceres. Shortly thereafter, it will commence gathering pictures and other scientific evidence from an unparalleled point of view. This orbit will be under 50 kilometers over the surface of Ceres, meaning that the spacecraft will be 10 times nearer the dwarf planet’s surface than it has ever been.
Dawn probe will get soon on its final orbit to permit the best scientific observations of Ceres, the only dwarf planet in our solar system
Dawn will capture gamma-ray and neutron spectra, both of which assist astronomers to determine changes in the chemical makeup of Ceres’ surface layer.
The transition from NASA’s Dawn’s old orbit to its ultimate one is not as straightforward as changing lanes while driving on a highway, as explained by the NASA engineer responsible for the space probe that’s studying Ceres, the single dwarf planet within our solar system.
NASA’s engineers are working for several months on calculating and mapping the correct route for the Dawn probe, which is powered by an ion engine, should follow to get on its final orbit around Ceres.
Engineers charted over 45,000 different potential routes before developing a project plan that would provide the best possible science observations.
NASA’s Dawn was designed to study Vesta and Ceres to help scientists learn more about our solar system
Launched in 2007, Dawn probe headed towards Vesta asteroid and Ceres dwarf planet, both located within the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter. Its mission is to offer a better insight on the two space objects, a fact that, according to scientists, will help us better understand our solar system.
In 2015, NASA’s Dawn probe entered in the orbit of Ceres, the single dwarf planet within our solar system, and now, 3 years later it is ready to drop below 50 km over Ceres to offer scientists better readings on the composition of this dwarf planet.