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NASA’s Dawn Space Probe reaches orbit around Dwarf Planet

National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Dawn Space Probe arrived at Ceres on 6th March 2015 and become the first spacecraft ever to circle a Dwarf planet, as well as the first to orbit two bodies beyond the Earth-moon system. Previously Dawn studied the protoplanet Vesta up close from July 2011 through September 2012. Dawn is still in move and will be there for 6 more weeks.

The Dawn spacecraft
  • Launched in 2007, the Dawn spacecraft was made to study of the two massive protoplanet of the astereoid belt: Vesta and Dwarf Planet Ceres.
  • Dawn had been taking pics of Ceres since December 1 2014 and entered orbit around on 6th March 2015.
  • The mission, which is costing NASA about $473 million, is the first to include stops at more than one extraterrestrial body.
  • The spacecraft was designed and built by Orbital ATK.
  • Mission Duration : 9 years
  • It has created history by entering the unexplored planet.
Ceres
  • It is round like a planet, but really small. Its total surface would cover just a third of the United States.
  • It is a largest object between asteriod belt of Mars and Jupiter.
  • Since its discovery, Ceres was known as planet, then an asteriod and later as a Dwarf Planet.
  •  Ceres is roughly 4.5 billion years old, but was only discovered a little more than 200 years ago.
  • It was a missing Planet for which scientist were struggling hard to find
Dwarf Planet:

Dwarf planet is a celestial body that,

  • Orbits the sun.
  • Has enough mass to assume a nearly round shape.
  • Has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.
  • Is not a satellite.

The first five recognized dwarf planets are Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Makemake and Haumea.