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Dawn Dictionary
Ion Propulsion

Podcast from 2007 Dawn
Launch Educator Conference
+ Lecture on Framing Camera








Last updated: 03/16/09


Science Payload:


Framing Camera
Visible & Infrared Spectrometer (VIR)
Gamma Ray
and Neutron Spectrometer (GRaND)

Gravity Science

Technicians test Framing Camera 1
Credit: MPS
  Dawn mapping spectrometer
Credit: INAF
  GRaND Instrument
Credit: LANL
  Radio receiver on Dawn spacecraft
Credit: NASA/JPL


Scientific imaging system of the
Dawn Mission to the two complementary
protoplanets, 1 Ceres and 4 Vesta.
+ Framing Camera    Gallery
+ Lecture on    Framing
 podcast icon


Accomplishes the Dawn mission's
scientific and measurement objectives of producing spectral images

+ VIR Gallery


Measures elemental abundances on the surface of Vesta and Ceres
+ GRaND Gallery


Allows accurate measurements of the spacecraft's
orbit from which scientists can determine the gravity fields of Vesta and Ceres


Data Return:
  • Images of Vesta and Ceres in three colors and black and white
  • Full surface with mapping spectrometer in three bands, 0.35 to 0.9 micron, 0.8 to 2.5 micron and 2.4 to
    5.0 micron
  • Neutron and gamma ray spectra to produce maps of the surface elemental composition of each asteroid, including the abundance of major rock-forming elements (O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, and Fe), trace elements (Gd and Sm), long-lived radioactive elements (K, Th, and U), and light elements such as H, C, and N, which are the major constituents of ices.
  • Radio tracking to determine mass, gravity field, principal axes, rotational axis and moments of inertia.
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