After a mammoth journey of eight years, NASA’s spacecraft ‘Dawn’ has finally entered the orbit of dwarf planet ‘Ceres’.
Through this achievement, NASA became the first to reach and orbit a dwarf planet in the history of mankind.
After completing the journey of nearly eight years, on Friday, the dawn pinged back to NASA and confirmed that it has reached the orbit of Ceres.
As per reports, the spacecraft was approximately 61,000 kilometers away from Ceres when it got captured by the gravity of the planet.
Chris Russell, the Principal investigator of this mission told that the whole team felt exhilarated after this milestone achievement. He added that the team has much to do in the coming one and half years.
David A. Weintraub, professor of astronomy at the Vanderbilt University told that more advanced studies about Ceres will change its status in the solar system.
NASA on the other hand will be now investigating the dwarf planet, and will be trying to find out whether it can support life.
Through this successful mission, ‘Dawn’ also became the first spacecraft to target two extra terrestrial targets. The spacecraft has explored ‘Vesta’, the giant asteroid from 2011 – 2012.
Ceres is just like Vesta, and its growth has been hindered by the strong gravitational force of Jupiter.
The studies conducted on Ceres will give new information and insight about the formation of our solar system, and it will give more ideas about the ways in which rocky planets like earth are put together in this system.