Environment

NASA scientists CONFUSED as Dawn starts orbiting Ceres

NASA scientists CONFUSED as Dawn starts orbiting Ceres

NASA scientists CONFUSED as Dawn starts orbiting Ceres

NASA’s Dawn spaceship is fast approaching the dwarf planet Ceres. This is the first spaceship that has come so close to the dwarf planet and it is taking close photos with its extremely high resolution cameras.

The good news is that the Dawn spaceship has finally entered into the orbit of the dwarf planet. But this has happened after a very difficult, trying and long journey. It has taken as many as eight years’ relentless flying at a very fast speed to reach there.

This is the first spaceship to enter Ceres orbit. “It went exactly the way we expected. Dawn gently, elegantly slid into Ceres’ gravitational embrace”, said Marc Rayman, chief engineer for the $473 million mission managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

ceres dwarf planetTill now there were fears that the spaceship may not be able to reach the orbit, nut as it has finally reached there, questions over its future course of action are being asked. In addition to exploring the now famous bright spots found on the surface of Ceres, scientists have much planned for the little history making craft.

But to begin some meaningful work the spaceship first needs to position itself in order to begin scientific investigations. Dawn “is working now to reshape its orbit around Ceres,” Dawn mission director and chief engineer Marc Rayman, who’s based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, wrote in a blog post Friday.

Others too are very excited about the Dawn spaceship. Dawn Deputy Principal Investigator Carol Raymond says, “By the time we finish in mid-2016, we’re going to know Ceres in exquisite detail…We’re going to understand why it has very, very bright spots – which are unique to any body in the solar system that has been explored thus far – and we’re going to understand what Ceres means in terms of a building block for planets in our solar system.”

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