The above image marks the location of NASA's Dawn spacecraft as of July 26, 2010 at 04:00 UTC. Also marked is the orbital path Dawn will take as it departs Vesta and travels to dwarf planet Ceres. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA's Dawn mission team has had an amazing year exploring Vesta. But the mission extension concludes in late August, and includes capturing images of Vesta's elusive north polar region.
Once the Vesta phase of the mission ends, the Dawn team will say "hasta la vista, Vesta!" and start Dawn on its journey to dwarf planet Ceres. But before they cast their full focus on Ceres, they will take a moment to revel in the discoveries of Vesta. And the team is inviting us to join the party!
We are invited to celebrate with NASA and the Dawn mission team. We can connect with Dawn team members and fellow Dawn mission fans in real time. Dawn scientists and engineers will share mission stories and answer questions via Facebook and Twitter in a live, interactive video event.
How are we celebrating? With a real-time MissionCast called "Hasta La Vista, Vesta!" Mark your calendars for September 8th at 12:00 PM PDT (3:00 PM EDT). Dawn scientists and engineers will share mission stories and answer questions submitted via Facebook and Twitter in a live, interactive video event.
If you have any questions, connect with the Dawn team via email (email@example.com) or via Facebook (www.facebook.com/dawn.mission) or Twitter (twitter.com/NASA_Dawn).
And now, the mission particulars...
The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington D.C. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, the Italian Space Agency and the Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team. The Dawn framing cameras were developed and built under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, with significant contributions by DLR German Aerospace Center, Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin, and in coordination with the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering, Braunschweig. The Framing Camera project is funded by the Max Planck Society, DLR, and NASA/JPL. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.
To view the new Vesta images and for more information about Dawn, visit: www.nasa.gov/dawn and dawn.jpl.nasa.gov .