Saturday, December 17, 2011

NASA’s Dawn Asteroid Orbiter Low Orbit Manuver Successful

Vesta @ 140 miles by Dawn Orbiter
NASA has confirmed that the Dawn Asteroid Orbiter has successfully completed it's programmed instructions and moved into a much lower orbit around the second largest asteroid in the solar system Vesta.

Dawn's present altitude above the surface of Vesta is a mere 130 miles. At this altitude it takes about 4 hours to complete a single orbit.

The image is from Dawn's framing camera which took the shot at only 140 miles above the heavily cratered surface.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA 

Daily Galaxy

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