Dawn (spacecraft) facts for kids
Illustration of the Dawn spacecraft
|Mission type||Multi-target orbiter|
|Operator||NASA / JPL|
|Mission duration||Planned: 9 years
Final: 11 years, 1 month, 5 days
|Manufacturer||Orbital Sciences · JPL · UCLA|
|Launch mass||1,217.7 kg (2,684.6 lb)|
|Dry mass||747.1 kg (1,647.1 lb)|
|Dimensions||1.64 × 19.7 × 1.77 m (5.4 × 65 × 5.8 ft)|
|Power||10,000 watts at 1 AU
1,300 watts at 3 AU
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||September 27, 2007, 11:34UTC|
|Rocket||Delta II 7925H|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral SLC-17B|
|Contractor||United Launch Alliance|
|End of mission|
|Last contact||30 October 2018|
|Flyby of Mars|
|Closest approach||February 18, 2009, 00:27:58 UTC|
|Distance||542 km (337 mi)|
|4 Vesta orbiter|
|Orbital insertion||July 16, 2011, 04:47 UTC|
|Orbital departure||September 5, 2012, 06:26 UTC|
|1 Ceres orbiter|
|Orbital insertion||March 6, 2015, 12:29 UTC|
Dawn is an unmanned NASA space probe. It has orbited and studied the asteroid Vesta, and it is currently orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres. Both Vesta and Ceres are in the asteroid belt. Dawn is the first spacecraft to visit Ceres and the first to visit Vesta. It also is the first spacecraft to orbit two extraterrestrial bodies.
Dawn was launched on September 27, 2007 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a Delta 7925-H rocket. It then travelled to Mars for a gravity assist, making its closest approach to Mars in February 2009.
Next, Dawn set off for Vesta. It went into orbit in July, 2011. On September 5, 2012, Dawn left Vesta and headed for Ceres. It began to orbit Ceres on March 6, 2015.
Images for kids
Dawn (spacecraft) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.