AOSS Department Seminar - Ann Cox
Date: March 22, 2012
Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Location: 2246 Space Research Building
Ann Cox, Orbital Sciences
The Dawn Mission - Investigating the "Dawn" of Our Solar System
Dawn is a planetary space science mission to explore main belt asteroids and is funded by NASA’s Discovery Program. Dawn’s primary scientific objective is to advance our understanding of the origin and evolution of the solar system by studying two of the largest asteroids. Vesta, which is believed to have melted and differentiated, and Ceres, with its apparent inventory of water ice which slowed its thermal evolution, form a bridge from the rocky bodies of the inner solar system to the icy bodies of the outer solar system., This is the first mission to orbit a main belt asteroid and the first to orbit two extraterrestrial bodies in a single mission. The Dawn spacecraft is the first purely scientific mission powered by solar electric propulsion. Orbital Sciences provided the spacecraft design, integration and test, and launch operations.