NASA announced the completion of the mission Dawn

Зонд NASA сделал уникальный

NASA's 'Dawn Mission' to an asteroid belt comes to an end

NASA's Dawn spacecraft - which orbited the two largest objects in the asteroid belt - has run out of fuel, ending a historic 11-year mission that unravelled many mysteries of our solar system.

Scientists have known for about a month that Dawn was nearly out of hydrazine, a fuel that kept the spacecraft's antennae oriented toward Earth and helped turn its solar panels to the sun to recharge.

At the point when the spacecraft missed scheduled communications with NASA's Deep Space Network on Wednesday and Thursday, the space agency formally proclaimed it dead.

After visiting Vesta, Dawn continued its travels and in March 2015 arrived at and went into a three-year orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, which is also the largest object in the asteroid belt. NASA said that the spacecraft will continue to be in orbit around Ceres for at least 50 years.

Launched in 2007, Dawn accomplished a journey propelled by ion engines that put about 4.3 billion miles (6.9 billion km) on its odometer.

Because of the life-on-Ceres question, NASA made a decision to keep Dawn spinning in orbit rather than sending the probe down to crash onto the dwarf planet's pockmarked surface.

On Tuesday, Nasa announced that its exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope had run out of hydrazine fuel, and the craft would be commanded to cease operations.

"The demands we put on Dawn were tremendous, but it met the challenge every time".

"Today, we celebrate the end of our Dawn mission - its incredible technical achievements, the vital science it gave us, and the entire team who enabled the spacecraft to make these discoveries", Zurbuchen said in a news release. Before joining Sun Star Times Andy has written for NPR, Motherboard, MSN and the Huffington Post.

According to NASA, the data Dawn beamed back to Earth was helpful in a number of ways, most significantly helping us understand the importance of location in the way the solar system formed.

The Dawn spacecraft was never one of NASA's most widely known missions, but it helped expand our understanding of the solar system.

In addition to the main objectives of the mission by taking the unique sample of the asteroid, OSIRIS-REx will also study the surface and composition of the asteroid, measure the effects of sunlight on its orbit.

This photo of Ceres and one of its key landmarks, Ahuna Mons, was one of the last views Dawn transmitted before it completed its mission.

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