Dawn goes into orbit around asteroid/dwarf planet Ceres

by | Mar 12, 2015 | exploration, NASA, Satellites, Science | 0 comments

At 1239 GMT on 6 March 2015, the NASA spacecraft Dawn entered orbit around the asteroid/dwarf planet Ceres at  61,000 km altitude.  Dawn was launched in 2007 and has used electric propulsion to visit the asteroid Vesta for an orbital stay of 14 months in 2011-12 before becoming the first spacecraft to enter orbit around a “dwarf planet”.   Ceres was originally called a planet on its discovery in 1801 but was then redesignated an asteroid. It gained its current designation as a “dwarf planet” in 2006.   The spacecraft will orbit Ceres for 16 months.

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