Dawn Mission Back On

NASA Revives Mission To Investigate Asteroids
Tuesday, March 28, 2006; Page A06

NASA decided yesterday to restart a mission to explore two of the solar system's largest asteroids, just weeks after the project was killed because of budget problems.

The space agency earlier this month scrapped the $446 million Dawn mission to orbit the asteroids Ceres and Vesta, nearly a half year after it was put on hold because of cost overruns and technical problems.

NASA decided to review the cancellation after the Jet Propulsion laboratory, which managed the mission, made an appeal.

"Our review determined the project team has made substantive progress on many of this mission's technical issues, and, in the end, we have confidence the mission will succeed," NASA Associate Administrator Rex Geveden, who led the review panel, said in a statement.

Powered by a xenon ion engine, Dawn would be the first spacecraft to circle Ceres and Vesta, which are in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Ceres and Vesta are believed to have formed in different parts of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago, and studying them could provide clues to how the sun and planets formed.
I remember posting on how pissed I was that they'd cut this mission. As I said then, I know the budgets are only so large (thanks Military Industrial Complex! {shakin'head}) but this is the kind of research which is needed in order to make the manned missions being planned for the future safe enough to even attempt.

All I'll add here is kudos to NASA for showing some understanding of their own long-term goals and priorities.

Ain't no Show Time here folks. It's just good, good Science!


  1. Yes, but are they investigating any of those Christeroids? I know that one DIDN'T hit that town in Pennsylvania after Pat Robertson asked God to wipe it out, but...

  2. I ain't so sure, Neil. Have you actually been there since then? How do we know the pictures the MSM have shown us aren't just a li'l doggy waggin'???

    Huh? Huh?

    (Christeroids.. heheheh.. .)


Post a Comment

Popular Posts