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Dawn Mission to Vesta and Ceres: Symbiosis between Terrestrial Observations and Robotic Exploration

Russell, C.T. and Capaccioni, F. and Coradini, A. and De Sanctis, M.C. and Feldman, W.C. and Jaumann, R. and Keller, H.U. and McCord, T.B. and McFadden, L.A. and Mottola, S. and Pieters, C.M. and Prettyman, T.H. and Raymond, C.A. and Smith, D.E. and Sykes, M.V. and Zuber, M.T. (2007) Dawn Mission to Vesta and Ceres: Symbiosis between Terrestrial Observations and Robotic Exploration. Earth, Moon and Planets, 101, pp. 65-91. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/s11038-007-9151-9. ISSN 0167-9295.

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Official URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/k78p7086717t8620/?p=9ad948bcdb5e4b4182e3ffce2a60ac7c&pi=1


The initial exploration of any planetary object requires a careful mission design guided by our knowledge of that object as gained by terrestrial observers. This process is very evident in the development of the Dawn mission to the minor planets 1 Ceres and 4 Vesta. This mission was designed to verify the basaltic nature of Vesta inferred both from its reflectance spectrum and from the composition of the howardite, eucrite and diogenite meteorites believed to have originated on Vesta. Hubble Space Telescope observations have determined Vesta’s size and shape, which, together with masses inferred from gravitational perturbations, have provided estimates of its density. These investigations have enabled the Dawn team to choose the appropriate instrumentation and to design its orbital operations at Vesta. Until recently Ceres has remained more of an enigma. Adaptive-optics and HST observations now have provided data from which we can begin to confidently plan the mission. These observations reveal a rotationally symmetric body with little surface relief, an ultraviolet bright point that can be used as a control point for determining the pole and anchoring a geographic coordinate system. They also reveal albedo and color variations that provide tantalizing hints of surface processes.

Document Type:Article
Title:Dawn Mission to Vesta and Ceres: Symbiosis between Terrestrial Observations and Robotic Exploration
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Russell, C.T.UCLA
Capaccioni, F.IFSI
Coradini, A.IFSI
De Sanctis, M.C.IAFS
Feldman, W.C.LANL
Keller, H.U.MPS
McCord, T.B.UoH
McFadden, L.A.UoM
Pieters, C.M.Brown University
Prettyman, T.H.LANL
Raymond, C.A.JPL
Smith, D.E.GSFC
Sykes, M.V.UoA
Zuber, M.T.MIT
Journal or Publication Title:Earth, Moon and Planets
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 65-91
Keywords:Vesta, Ceres, Dawn, Discovery mission, Asteroids
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Projekt DAWN (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Asteroids and Comets
Institute of Planetary Research
Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Dr.phys. Stefano Mottola
Deposited On:15 Jan 2008
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 14:39

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