Saturday, July 7, 2007

Dawn Launch Date Pushed to September

NASA's Dawn Spacecraft, a mission to go to the asteroid belt to study its two largest objects, Ceres and Vesta, was scheduled to launch no later than the 15th . Today NASA Officials have decided to postpone the launch until September.

NASA Officials, Managers, and its Head Administrator decided that the Dawn launch could possibly interfere or impact the launch preparations for NASA's Phoenix mission that is headed to Mars. The Phoenix Mars Lander will be lifting off in early August.
This September launch date will cause Dawn to miss the latest launch window, July 19. That window allowed Dawn to receive a sling-shot from mars to speed up the mission, but now NASA has decided to use the other launch window to receive a sling-shot from Mars, in September.

Pictured: NASA's Dawn Spacecraft, sent to study asteroid belt. Image Credit: NASA

NASA says that even with Dawn taking-off in September, it will still be able to maintain all of its science missions goals the same way as if it had taken off in July. NASA will discuss the Phoenix Mars Lander and provide more information about the Dawn spacecraft in a press conference tomorrow (July 8) 11:30 AM Eastern time.

No comments: