NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Enters The Orbit Of Ceres

The spacecraft of NASA’s Dawn space exploration project has started orbiting planet Ceres, putting the engineers and scientists in tenterhooks.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, lad launched this mission back in the year 2007, with the aim of checking and exploring the belt of asteroids between the planet of Mars and Jupiter.

Ceres happens to the second stop for Dawn, after it spent around two years on the orbit of Vesta, collecting data. Vesta happens to the 2nd largest stellar object on the belt.

NASA Spacecraft

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has achieved the feat of being the first successful mission to enter the Orbit of Ceres at 4:39 a.m.

Using a high resolution camera, the spacecraft captured images of the dwarf object, showing some bright spots on the surface. Scientists believe that these spots could be icy, giving more depth to the beliefs that there can be liquid oceans underneath.

Dawn’s mission director Marc Rayman was quoted saying that Ceres was known more as a planet since the time it was discovered in 1801. He also expressed his happiness that Dawn has finally managed to call Ceres home after travelling 4.9 billion kms, media reports said.

It has been confirmed that Dawn will spend its final working life around Ceres, and scientists have plenty to do for the next two years as the spacecrafts orbits around the dwarf planet.

The study of Ceres will also help scientists understand the planets of the solar system, especially the icy spots that have been captured in the images.