The Dawn Mission
By Keri Bean (Mission operations engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL, Caltech, California))
Thursday 16 Feb
Place: Lecture room Eduard Fontserè
NASA’s ambitious Dawn mission is one of the most exciting ventures into our own solar system. Previously, Dawn explored the spectacular asteroid Vesta from July 2011 to September 2012. Dawn arrived at Ceres in March of 2015 and has been sending back exciting data about our closest dwarf planet neighbor ever since. Vesta and Ceres are the two most massive objects in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Dawn uses futuristic, science fiction-like ion propulsion to efficiently move itself to visit its two targets. Dawn’s exploration takes us back in time to the formation of the solar system to look at the leftover building blocks of our local neighbourhood. In this talk, we’ll follow along with Dawn’s journey through the solar system and look at the science and engineering that makes the mission happen.