Another NASA Spacecraft Runs Out Of Steam, 2nd This Week

FILE - This illustration made available by NASA depicts the Dawn spacecraft orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres. On Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, NASA announced it had lost the probe, ending a fruitful mission in the asteroid belt. (NASA via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA has lost a second spacecraft this week, ending a fruitful mission in the asteroid belt.

Running low on fuel for some time, the Dawn spacecraft this week stopped communicating with flight controllers. Its prolonged silence prompted NASA to declare it dead Thursday, two days after delivering eulogies to the planet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope. The 9 ½-year-old Kepler also ran out of fuel, needed for pointing the spacecraft.

They both kept working longer than anticipated and their demise had been expected.

Propelled by three ion engines, the 11-year-old Dawn was the first spacecraft to orbit an object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and also the first to orbit two places beyond Earth. After circling the asteroid Vesta, Dawn went into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres.

Mission director and chief engineer Marc Rayman insisted he wasn’t sad. Rather, he said in an email, “I’m thrilled it was so fantastically exciting and productive. Dawn was a spectacular success by any measure. It carried humankind on a truly amazing deep space adventure with stunning discoveries.”

Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, followed by Vesta. The “astounding” images collected by Dawn are shedding light on the history and evolution of our solar system, said NASA’s science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen.

Dawn should remain in orbit around Ceres for decades, according to NASA.

“To me, that is a fitting end to an extraordinary extraterrestrial expedition,” Rayman said.

By MARCIA DUNN - Nov 1. 2018
AP
___

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

 
 

News Sources

  • ABC
  • Access Hollywood
  • Associated Press
  • BBC
  • Bloomberg
  • Boston Globe
  • C-SPAN
  • CBS
  • Chicago Sun-Times
  • Christian Science Monitor
  • Center for Public Integrity
  • CNN
  • Congressional Quarterly
  • Democracy Now!
  • Digg
  • E! Online
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Financial Times
  • Forbes
  • Foreign Policy
  • Fortune
  • Front Street Magazine

  • U.S. News, World News
  • Business, Politics
  • Entertainment, Sports
  • Art, Lifestyle
  • Videos And More
  • News Sources

  • Fox News
  • Google News
  • Guardian
  • Huffington Post
  • Independent
  • LA Weekly
  • Los Angeles Times
  • McClatchy
  • Mother Jones
  • National Journal
  • NBC New
  • New York Post
  • New York Times
  • Newsweek
  • Newsy
  • NPR
  • PBS NewsHour
  • People
  • Politico
  • Reuters
  • TPM
  • Washington Post
  • Thanks For Your Support!

    Advertisement
     

    Copyright © 2018 Front Street. All Rights Reserved.