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NASA Dawn Asteroid Mission Told to "Stand Back Up", Reinstated!
dvandorn
post Mar 28 2006, 07:58 AM
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Just 'cause I said I would... biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

Hopefully, though, this whole episode has made its point -- NASA isn't afraid to tell overbudget missions to stand down.

I just *really* wish we could get the magnetometer back on the beastie, though...

-the other Doug


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Holder of the Tw...
post Mar 28 2006, 03:32 PM
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Does anyone know how much it would cost to reinstate the magnetometer? A bit academic at this point, I'm afraid, but I am curious.
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Marz
post Mar 28 2006, 04:15 PM
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yee haw!!

Has the mission timeline been changed at all?
Is it still scheduled for launch this year?

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J.J.
post Mar 28 2006, 04:27 PM
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^
The launch has been pushed back to July 2007. That's better than nothing, but time will tell if it stays in-budget.


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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Mar 28 2006, 04:49 PM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Mar 28 2006, 07:58 AM) *
I just *really* wish we could get the magnetometer back on the beastie, though...

Hey, maybe Amir Alexander at TPS knows something we don't. Here's an excerpt from Alexander's latest story "A New Day for Dawn":

"For...9 months, Dawn will remain in orbit around Vesta, scanning it with an array of instruments including a camera, two spectrometers, an altimeter, and a magnetometer.

So, both the altimeter and magnetometer are back on the payload? That would certainly qualify as "news." Or is Alexander using outdated information?

This post has been edited by AlexBlackwell: Mar 28 2006, 05:02 PM
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SFJCody
post Mar 28 2006, 04:58 PM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Mar 28 2006, 05:49 PM) *
So, both the altimeter and magnetometer are back on the payload? That would certainly qualify as "news." Or is Alexander using outdated information?


It would be great to have the altimeter back. Then we'd have complete (or nearly complete) topographic maps of every body in the inner solar system bigger than Pallas:

Mercury: Mercury Laser Altimeter
Venus: Magellen SAR altimetry
Earth: SRTM + many others
Moon: LOLA
Mars: MOLA
Vesta: Dawn Laser Altimeter
Ceres: Dawn Laser Altimeter

Excellent for comparative planetology.
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gpurcell
post Mar 28 2006, 05:40 PM
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http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/science/technology.asp

Science Payload:
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Framing Camera : German Aerospace Center, DLR, Institute of Space Sensor Technology and Planetary Exploration, Berlin.

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Mapping Spectrometer : The Institute for Astrophysics in Space (IAFS), Rome

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometer : Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos NM
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elakdawalla
post Mar 28 2006, 05:45 PM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Mar 28 2006, 08:49 AM) *
Hey, maybe Amir Alexander at TPS knows something we don't. Here's an excerpt from Alexander's latest story "A New Day for Dawn":

"For...9 months, Dawn will remain in orbit around Vesta, scanning it with an array of instruments including a camera, two spectrometers, an altimeter, and a magnetometer.

So, both the altimeter and magnetometer are back on the payload? That would certainly qualify as "news." Or is Alexander using outdated information?

I notified Amir about the error and he corrected it. He said he got the information from Dawn's website...don't know where though; they seem to have scrubbed it pretty well for references to the altimeter and magnetometer.

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peter59
post Mar 28 2006, 05:46 PM
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I checked my calendar but it is not April Fool's Day.
It is true ? I can't belive. biggrin.gif


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JRehling
post Mar 28 2006, 05:58 PM
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QUOTE (SFJCody @ Mar 28 2006, 08:58 AM) *
It would be great to have the altimeter back. Then we'd have complete (or nearly complete) topographic maps of every body in the inner solar system bigger than Pallas:


Shape from shading and stereography will yield some decent topographic maps of Vesta and Ceres in time, although I suspect that those analyses will take a while. Note that DEMs of Mercury based on Mariner 10 data came out in the late 1990s! Not that the analysis took that long to finish; I think it took about that long to start. Computers in 1996 being a bit more powerful than computers in 1975.

Note that a DEM of Mars that used some of the vast array of imaging data could really improve on the MOLA data, but it's almost incomprehensible that anyone would ever use ALL of the imagining data that exists. In the long run, combining MOLA with MEx and THEMIS would probably suffice for just about any imaginable geological purpose until we need to survey Mars for real estate.

Check out

http://webgis.wr.usgs.gov/mer/March_2002_p...02_Kirk_MOC.pdf

...making high-res DEMs using MOC imagery. HiRise will become part of this capability.

Overall, I guess the techniques used on all of the Mars imagery coming in should allow the techniques to mature before Dawn gives us maps of Ceres and Vesta, and the resulting products might be quite good. They would only benefit from the laser altimeter data, but I'm not sure how much...
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Mar 28 2006, 06:02 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Mar 28 2006, 05:45 PM) *
I notified Amir about the error and he corrected it. He said he got the information from Dawn's website...don't know where though; they seem to have scrubbed it pretty well for references to the altimeter and magnetometer.

Shucks! And here I was hoping the two instruments had been restored and that Amir was merely burying the lede. biggrin.gif
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post Mar 28 2006, 08:11 PM
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It is, I imagine, well too late to reinstall either of them at this point.
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Mar 28 2006, 09:30 PM
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QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Mar 28 2006, 08:11 PM) *
It is, I imagine, well too late to reinstall either of them at this point.

Undoubtedly so. Of course, there's also the "small" issue of there not being enough money. biggrin.gif
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Marz
post Mar 28 2006, 10:01 PM
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QUOTE (J.J. @ Mar 28 2006, 10:27 AM) *
^
The launch has been pushed back to July 2007. That's better than nothing, but time will tell if it stays in-budget.


Oh, I have no complaints delaying launch a year, so long as it flies.

So does this mean we can just add 1 year to the arrival times?
(2012=Vesta and 2016=Ceres?)

Ugh... these mission timelines are so painful! I'm beginning to loathe the "efficiency" of ion propulsion. ph34r.gif

Other questions:
1. did the recent keck/hubble observations of Ceres place a size limit boundary on any possible moons?

2. are Vesta and Ceres expected to both have at least one moon? (seems like most main-belt 'roids have companions, right?)

3. aside from visual clues, are there any instruments on Dawn that can determine if there is a subsurface ocean on Ceres? Is this completely unlikely, without tidal heating... or has Enceledus taught us a sound lesson to expect the unexpected?

4. Is EVE simply a Dawn clone to visit Pallas and other big 'roids? Should a lander mission be in the works for Ceres (dare I say, sample return)?

5. any likelyhood of the Pentagon being told to "stand down" as we review their incredible cost overruns and in the meantime use that budget to fund EVE and Dawn's Early Flight? unsure.gif
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elakdawalla
post Mar 28 2006, 10:08 PM
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Colleen Hartman said yesterday that the arrival dates were not changed by the one-year launch delay.

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