Feeds

NASA names the day for Dawn raid on asteroid belt

Launch date pencilled in

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

NASA has confirmed the launch date for Dawn, its mission to the asteroid belt. The space agency is aiming for a launch window that opens at 07:25 (EDT) on 26 September, and closes again 29 minutes later.

Artist's impression of Dawn flying past the dwarf-planet Ceres

Artist's impression of Dawn flying past the dwarf-planet Ceres.

The agency gets three chances. Although each window is short, there is a launch opportunity on each of the 26, 27, and 28 September, so even if a storm threatens on 26 September, the asteroid hunter could still see space next week.

Dawn's mission is to search the asteroid belt for clues to the conditions and processes that were at work in the very first years of our solar system's existence. The craft will make detailed surveys of the massive asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres.

The asteroid belt skirts our solar system just between Mars and Jupiter. Astronomers believe the asteroids are the pieces of proto-planet that never made it.

Recent snaps from Hubble, NASA says, have raised some interesting questions about the history of both Ceres and Vesta. The two bodies NASA has targeted for a close-up have very different evolutionary histories, and between them should help scientists understand some of what was going on during the first few million years. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.