NASA Dawn spacecraft was the first spacecraft to the orbit in asteroid belt and has been in research since July 2011 about asteroid Vesta. It published a report about its past research to provide a better picture of history our early solar system. Only after few days dawn will say goodbye to Vesta gravitational grasp and will start a journey towards dwarf planet Ceres. The duration of journey will be 2.5 years.
Dawn started a grand journey of 3-billion mile (5-billion km) to study about two most enormous bodies in the asteroid belt. It finished its journey in July 2011 on entering in the orbit of asteroid Vesta. It started to collect spectral analysis data and thousands of pictures that help to explain something about asteroid’s elemental composition. Because of this journey we know now that geological events in distant past caused it to melt , forming a layered body with an ironed that make the Vesta much closer to small planet than an asteroid.
Now the second part of the journey is being started. It was expected that probe will start from August 15 but it was postponed for a few weeks because of problem on the reaction wheel. Now the problem has been solved and 4 September has been finalized to start the journey towards Ceres, the largest asteroid in the belt, at start of 2015.
This is the last phase of Dawn’s mission. It will collect comprehensive spectral data and thousand of picture for the exploration of the dwarf planet Ceres– now looking just a shadowy dot in the sky–to discover more detail about our early solar system history.