Daily Archives: 03/29/2006

A New Dawn!

The recently cancelled Dawn mission to the asteroids of Ceres and Vesta has been revivified! How cool is that? NASA brought it back from the dead and gave the probe another chance to explore the asteroid belt. Apparently NASA’s one sided decision to scrap the mission ticked off European agencies that had invested a great deal of time and money, to say nothing of the ire of the scientific community. Well it’s good to hear that NASA will continue to fund science missions instead of funneling all the agency’s budget into keeping three people spinning around in low earth orbit in a stinky box.

First Images From MRO

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is successfully in orbit around the red planet and just sent back the first pictures. Nothing too spectacular, the engineers are just testing out the equipment. The photos were taken from an altitude of 2500 kilometers, well above the satellites final orbital height of 300 kilometers, and show some highlands from Mars’ southern hemisphere. Current resolution is about 7 meters per pixel, which is damn good, but the image resolution will be better than 1 meter per pixel in the final orbit.