Comments?????
Email the Webmaster!!!!!


Mission to the Asteroids

This page was last updated on October 23, 2018

Locations of Site Visitors




PAGE Table of Contents

Mission to the Asteroids


Mission Chart of the Asteroids



Asterank is a scientific and economic database of over 600,000 asteroids.




We've collected, computed, or inferred important data such as asteroid mass and composition from multiple scientific sources. With this information, we estimate the costs and rewards of mining asteroids. Details on orbits and basic physical parameters are sourced from the Minor Planet Center and NASA JPL. Composition data is based on spectral classification and size. Our calculations incorporate conclusions from multiple scientific publications in addition to cross-referencing known meteorite data.

Asteroid Hayabusa


Dawn, Mission to the Asteroid Belt (HD) � Narrated by Leonard Nimoy
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Published on Feb 27, 2015 Produced in 2007, this overview video about NASA's Dawn mission to giant asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres
was released before the spacecraft's launch that year. The mission greatly appreciated Leonard Nimoy's support and participation.
Dawn investigated Vesta in 2011-2012, and will arrive at Ceres March 6, 2015. For more information about Dawn,
visit The dawn Mission

Asteroid 2015 TB145 flyby Halloween 2015


Published on Oct 30, 2015 This simulation shows the trajectory of the asteroid across the sky, showing tracer spheres spaced
at one hour intervals along its path. (A funny frame jump in the middle, apparently the moon got scared, but no time to fix.) Category Nonprofits & Activism License Standard YouTube License

Map showing TB145’s position for an observer in the north central U.S. at 15-minute intervals starting at 5:00 UT.
Subtract 4 hours from UT for EDT, 5 hours for CDT, 6 for MDT and 7 for PDT. Stars are shown to magnitude +12 and north is up in all maps.
The asteroid is depicted as a small target. Click to enlarge, then save and make a print out for use at the telescope.
Credit: Chris Marriott’s SkyMap software

Map showing the asteroid’s progress across the horns of Taurus from 9-10:45 UT (4 – 5:45 a.m.) October 31st.
It passes about 1° northwest of the Crab Nebula around 10:30 UT.
Credit: Chris Marriott’s SkyMap

The view from the southern U.S. (about 32° latitude) from 11-11:45 UT. Compared to the northern U.S.,
the asteroid’s path lies about 5 arc minutes further to the north.
Credit: Chris Marriott’s SkyMap

By this time, TB145 will be around magnitude +10.4 and easier to see than at the start our run.
The map covers the time from 11-11:45 UT (6 – 6:45 a.m. CDT).
Credit: Chris Marriott’s SkyMap

Map showing TB145’s approximate path starting at 4 hours UT on Oct. 31 (11 p.m. CDT Oct. 30). This view faces east. Tick marks show its hourly position.
This map provides context for the detailed maps above.
Credit: Chris Marriott’s SkyMap

View of earth from 2015 TB145 Halloween asteroid flyby


Dawn Mission to the Asteroid Belt


Published on May 11, 2015 The ambitious and exciting Dawn mission is one of NASA's most remarkable ventures into the solar system.
After more than seven years of interplanetary spaceflight, the probe is just a few months away from the mysterious world Ceres.
The spacecraft has already completed a spectacular exploration of Vesta. These were among the last uncharted worlds in the inner solar system
prior to Dawn. They are the two most massive residents of the main asteroid belt, that vast collection of bodies between Mars and Jupiter.
Ceres is so large that it is included in the category of dwarf planets, along with Pluto. The alien landscapes Dawn reveals provide humankind
with a new perspective on the solar system. Remnants from the time that planets were formed, Ceres and Vesta hold clues that will help scientists
understand the dawn of the solar system. Dawn orbited Vesta from July 2011 to September 2012 and returned astonishing views of this fascinating world.
It is the only spaceship ever to orbit an object in the asteroid belt and is the first ever targeted to orbit any two extraterrestrial destinations.
Such a mission would be truly impossible without the use of ion propulsion, a technology that has mostly been in the domain of science fiction.
Dr. Marc Rayman will give a fascinating and entertaining presentation on the Dawn mission and its two exotic destinations as well as its use of ion propulsion.
He also will share the excitement and profundity of controlling a robotic ambassador from Earth in deep space.
Speaker: Dr. Marc Rayman, Dawn Project Mission Director Related Media The von Kármán Lecture Series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list... Release Date: 05 December 2014 Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

MISSIONS: Dawn In The Asteroid Belt With Marc Rayman


Streamed live on Nov 4, 2015 The MISSIONS series at Cross Campus Pasadena continues with the first mission to orbit two mysterious bodies
in our solar system. Mat Kaplan and Emily Lakdawalla will welcome Dawn Mission Director Marc Rayman for this live conversation.
What are those bright spots on Ceres anyway? Program begins at 7:00pm Pacific.
Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

THAT INTERSTELLAR ASTEROID IS PROBABLY PRETTY STRANGE LOOKING


Artist’s impression of the first interstellar asteroid, "Oumuamua".(1I/2017 U1 ) This unique object was discovered on 19 October 2017 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Animation of artist's concept of `Oumuamua


Animation of `Oumuamua passing through the Solar System


This animation of an artist's concept shows the interstellar asteroid 1I/2017 (`Oumuamua). Observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope and others have shown that this unique object is dark, reddish in colour and highly elongated. More information and download options:

Animation of `Oumuamua passing through the Solar System


This animation shows the path of the interstellar asteroid 1I/2017 (`Oumuamua) through the Solar System. Observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope and others have shown that this unique object is dark, reddish in colour and highly elongated. :More information and download options Credit: ESO, M. Kornmesser, L.Calcada. Music: Azul Cobalto Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License SHOW LESS

For the first time ever astronomers have studied an asteroid that has entered the Solar System from interstellar space. Observations from ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and other observatories around the world show that this unique object was travelling through space for millions of years before its chance encounter with our star system. It appears to be a dark, reddish, highly-elongated rocky or high-metal-content object.The video is available in 4K UHD. The ESOcast Light is a series of short videos bringing you the wonders of the Universe in bite-sized pieces. The ESOcast Light episodes will not be replacing the standard, longer ESOcasts, but complement them with current astronomy news and images in ESO press releases. More information and download options: Subscribe to ESOcast in iTunes! Receive future episodes on YouTube by pressing the Subscribe button above or follow us on Vimeo: : Watch more ESOcast episodes Find out how to view and contribute subtitles for the ESOcast in multiple languages, or translate this video on YouTube: Credit: ESO Category Science & Technology License Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed) SHOW LESS

This animation shows the path of 1I/2017 U1, or ‘Oumuamua, as it passed through our inner solar system in September and October 2017. From analysis of its motion, scientists calculate that it originated from outside of our solar system. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Click here to return to top of page


Mission to VESTA


Artist�s concept of the Dawn spacecraft arriving at Vesta. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Vesta is one of the largest asteroids in the Solar System. Comprising 9% of the mass in the Asteroid Belt,
it is second in size only to the dwarf-planet Ceres. And now, thanks to data obtained by NASA�s Dawn spacecraft,
Vesta�s surface has been mapped out in unprecedented detail.
These high-resolution geological maps reveal the variety of Vesta�s surface features and provide a window into the asteroid�s history.

Vesta shape model from high-altitude mapping orbit(From planetary.org)

VESTA GEOLOGICAL MAP


This high-res geological map of Vesta is derived from Dawn spacecraft data. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU
The brown colored sections of the map represent the oldest, most heavily cratered surface. Purple colors in the
north and light blue represent terrains modified by the Veneneia and Rheasilvia impacts, respectively. Light purples and
dark blue colors below the equator represent the interior of the Rheasilvia and Veneneia basins. Greens and yellows represent
relatively young landslides or other downhill movement and crater impact materials, respectively.

Are Asteroids the Future of Planetary Science?
by MORGAN REHNBERG on JANUARY 26, 2015


The asteroid Vesta as seen by the Dawn spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCAL/MPS/DLR/IDA
I don�t think I ever learned one of those little rhymes � My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas �
to memorize the order of the planets, but if I had, it would�ve painted for me a minimalist picture of the solar system.
(Side question: what is my Very Educated Mother serving now that we only have Dwarf Pizzas?) After all,
much of the most exciting work in planetary science today happens not at the planets, but around them.

Dawn Probe Finds Evidence of Subsurface Ice on Vesta


Artist�s concept of the Dawn spacecraft arriving at Vesta. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Vesta is one of the largest asteroids in the Solar System. Comprising 9% of the mass in the Asteroid Belt,
it is second in size only to the dwarf-planet Ceres. And now, thanks to data obtained by NASA�s Dawn spacecraft,
Vesta�s surface has been mapped out in unprecedented detail.
These high-resolution geological maps reveal the variety of Vesta�s surface features and provide a window into the asteroid�s history.

Artist rendition of Dawn spacecraft orbiting Vesta. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

VESTA GEOLOGICAL MAP


This high-res geological map of Vesta is derived from Dawn spacecraft data. Brown colors represent the oldest, most heavily cratered surface. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

The planetoid Vesta, which was studied by the Dawn probe between July 2011 and September 2012. Credit: NASA

ASTRO CHALLENGE: SPOTTING 4 VESTA AT ITS BEST FOR DECADES


the brave new world of Vesta, courtesy of NASA's Dawn spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCAL/MPS/DLR/IDA

Vesta and the planet(s)… looking east in early June 2018, about 45 minutes after sunset. Credit:Stellerium.org

Thank you Sterllarium Software !!!!!!!




The path of 4 Vesta through mid-September. Credit: Starry Night Education software.

Thank you Starry night education !!!!!!!




The occultation footprint for the June 27th, 2018 event. Credit: Occult 4.2 software.

Thank you Occultation software !!!!!!!




Ceres (left) and Vesta (right) imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: NASA/HST/STl

The south pole Rheasilvia impact basin. Based on images obtained by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, the lower false color map shows the elevation scale scooped out by an ancient impact. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

Meteorites recovered on Earth, courtesy of 4 Vesta. Credit: NASA/University of Tennessee.


Click here to return to top of page


Mission to CERES


NASA's CRES/ASTEROID Travel Poster


Radiation Blast Delays NASA Spacecraft�s Arrival At Dwarf Planet Ceres by ELIZABETH HOWELL on SEPTEMBER 17, 2014


Artist�s conception of the NASA Dawn spacecraft approaching Ceres. Credit: NASA
NASA�s Dawn spacecraft experienced technical problems in the past week that will force it to arrive at dwarf planet Ceres
one month later than planned, the agency said in a statement yesterday (Sept. 16, 2014).
Controllers discovered Dawn was in safe mode Sept. 11 after radiation disabled its ion engine,
which uses electrical fields to �push� the spacecraft along. The radiation stopped all engine thrusting activities.

Vesta (left) and Ceres. Vesta was photographed up close by the Dawn spacecraft from July 2011-Sept. 2012,
while the best views we have to date of Ceres come from the Hubble Space Telescope. The bright white spot is still a mystery. Credit: NASA
�As a result of the change in the thrust plan, Dawn will enter into orbit around dwarf planet Ceres in April 2015,
about a month later than previously planned. The plans for exploring Ceres once the spacecraft is in orbit, however,
are not affected,� NASA�s Jet Propulsion Laboratory stated in a press release.

Pictures of the asteroid Ceres taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released in 2005.
It shows the asteroid rotating over two hours and 20 minutes, which is about a quarter of a day on Ceres (nine hours).
At the time, scientists said the bright spot is a mystery.
Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Parker (Southwest Research Institute), P. Thomas (Cornell University), and L. McFadden (University of Maryland, College Park)

NASA / JPL / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA
Dawn's view of Ceres on December 1, 2014 (detail)
Round is so important to geologists. Round means that the force of gravity has overcome the strength of the materials
that make up Ceres, squishing it together and forcing its surface to be approximately flat, according to the local force of gravity;
over time, that makes a world round, not quite spherical, but bulging slightly at the equator.
This reshaping by gravity generates heat in a couple of different ways, and heat encourages planetary materials to flow faster,
sometimes even melting. Ceres will have tectonic features, maybe even an internal ocean.
Or there were such features, once. Ceres' surface will have recorded those changes.
It remains for Dawn to see whether those recordings have been preserved across geologic time,
leaving a record that we, back on Earth, can decipher.

Ceres, Target of NASA's Dawn Mission Discovered on Jan. 1, 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi of Italy,
Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt - the strip of solar system real estate between Mars and Jupiter.
On March 6, 2015, NASA's Dawn spacecraft will arrive at Ceres, marking the first time that a spacecraft has ever orbited two solar system target

Here�s Dawn�s Best View of Ceres Yet by Jason Major on January 19, 2015


Animation of Ceres made from Dawn images acquired on Jan. 13, 2015
(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI)
Just sit back and watch the world turn� or should I say, watch the dwarf planet
turn in this fascinating animation from Dawn as the spacecraft continues on its ion-powered approach to Ceres!

An Even Closer View of Ceres Shows Multiple White Spots Now by BOB KING on FEBRUARY 5, 2015


Animation of photos of the asteroid Ceres taken by NASA�s Dawn spacecraft on Feb. 4, 2015
at a distance of about 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
NASA�s Dawn spacecraft has acquired its latest and closest-yet snapshot of the mysterious dwarf planet world Ceres.
These latest images, taken on Feb. 4, from a distance of about 90,000 miles (145,000 km) clearly show craters �
including a couple with central peaks � and a clearer though still ambiguous view of that wild white spot that has so many of us
scratching our heads as to its nature.

Dawn Approaches: Two Faces of Ceres


These two views of Ceres were acquired by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on Feb. 12, 2015,
from a distance of about 52,000 miles (83,000 kilometers) as the dwarf planet rotated.
The images have been magnified from their original size.

Ceres Bizarre Bright Spot Now Has a Companion by BOB KING on FEBRUARY 26, 2015


This image was taken by NASA�s Dawn spacecraft of dwarf planet Ceres on Feb. 19 from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 km).
It shows that the brightest spot on the dwarf planet has a dimmer companion which lies in the same crater.
Note also the �cracks� or faults in its crust at bottom right.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Bright Spots on Ceres Likely Ice, Not Cryovolcanoes by NANCY ATKINSON on MARCH 3, 2015


Ceres rotates in this sped-up movie comprised of images taken by NASA�s Dawn mission during its approach to the dwarf planet.
The images were taken on Feb. 19, 2015, from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers).
Dawn observed Ceres for a full rotation of the dwarf planet, which lasts about nine hours.
The images have a resolution of 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) per pixel. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Dawn Ceres Arrival NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Streamed live on Mar 2, 2015 NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory held a briefing at 9 a.m. PST (noon EST) Monday, March 2, to discuss the March 6 arrival of the agency's Dawn spacecraft at the dwarf planet Ceres. The news briefing, held at JPL's von Karman Auditorium at 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, California, will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed here. Ceres, located in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, is the largest unexplored world of the inner solar system. Dawn will not only be the first spacecraft to reach a dwarf planet, it will be the first spacecraft ever to orbit two different worlds in deep space. Dawn was the first spacecraft to orbit a body in the main asteroid belt when it explored the giant asteroid Vesta from 2011 to 2012. Participants in the news conference are: -- Jim Green, director, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington -- Robert Mase, Dawn project manager, JPL -- Carol Raymond, Dawn deputy principal investigator, JPL Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

Dawn Rises Over Ceres North Pole by BOB KING on APRIL 16, 2015


Dawn�s framing camera took these images of Ceres on April 10, 2015 which were combined into a short animation.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
Brand new images taken on April 10 by NASA�s Dawn probe show the dwarf planet from high above its north pole.
Photographed at a distance of just 21,000 miles (33,000 km) � less than 10 times the Earth-moon distance �
they�re our sharpest views to date. The crispness combined with the low-angled sunlight gives Ceres a stark, lunar-like appearance.

Dwarf planet Ceres reveals surface secrets in NASA color map(april, 2015)


Dawn's first color map of Ceres shows the dwarf planet's mottled
surface hints at a vibrant and active past.

Ceres� White Spots Multiply in Latest Dawn Photos
by Bob King on May 11, 2015



Where there were two, now there are 10! Ceres photographed on May 3 and 4 by NASA�s Dawn spacecraft
show multiple white spots inside the 57-mile-wide crater located in the asteroid�s northern hemisphere.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA / montage by Tom Ruen

Ceres white spot complex

Ceres Animation Showcases Bright Spots


This animation shows a sequence of images taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on May 4, 2015,
from a distance of 8,400 miles (13,600 kilometers), in its RC3 mapping orbit.
The image resolution is 0.8 mile (1.3 kilometers) per pixel.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Circling Occator Crater on Ceres (Silent)


Uploaded on Sep 8, 2015 Black and white and color animations made with new data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft highlight the topography of Occator crater on Ceres. Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

Ceres Bright Spots Sharpen But Questions Remain
by BOB KING on MAY 22, 2015


Latest image released by NASA of the white spots in the 57-mile-wide crater on the dwarf planet Ceres.
Scientists with the Dawn mission believe they’re highly reflective material, likely ice.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

It's Crater-palooza on Dwarf Planet Ceres (New Photo)
by Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | May 28, 2015 07:34pm ET


A new view of Ceres, captured by NASA’s Dawn probe on May 23, 2015, shows fine details of the dwarf planet’s surface coming into focus. into focus. Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Fly Over Dwarf Planet Ceres
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Published on Jun 8, 2015 A new video animation of dwarf planet Ceres, based on images taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, provides dramatic flyover views
of this heavily cratered, mysterious world. The images come from Dawn's first mapping orbit at Ceres,
at an altitude of 8,400 mile (13,600 kilometers), as well as navigational images taken from 3,200 miles (5,100 kilometers) away.
The images provided information for a three-dimensional terrain model. The vertical dimension has been exaggerated by a factor of two,
and a star field has been added in the background.
Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

Ceres Bright Spots Keep Their Secret Even From 2,700 miles Up by Bob King on June 10, 2015


The brightest spots on dwarf planet Ceres are seen in this image taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on June 6, 2015.
This is among the first snapshots from Dawn’s second mapping orbit, which is 2,700 miles (4,400 km) in altitude.
The resolution is 1,400 feet (410 meters) per pixel. Click photos for full resolution images.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Fresh material is exposed in a rayed crater on Ceres. Taken on June 6 from 2,700 miles (4,400 km),
it has a resolution of 1,400 feet (410 meters) per pixel,
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

A cluster of mysterious bright spots on dwarf planet Ceres can be seen in this image,
taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft from an altitude of 2,700 miles (4,400 kilometers).
The image, with a resolution of 1,400 feet (410 meters) per pixel, was taken on June 9, 2015.

Ceres Resembles Saturn’s Icy Moons by JASON MAJOR on JULY 28, 2015


Topographic elevation map of Ceres showing newly-named craters.
The highest regions are in red, the lowest in blue.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA.

Russell said the ice-vs.-salt debate is continuing. “I originally was an advocate of ice,
because of how bright the spots seemed to be,” he said. However, the bright material’s albedo,
or reflectivity factor, is about 50 percent – which is less than Russell originally thought.
“This could be salt and is unlikely to be ice. I think the team opinion is now more in line with salt,” he said.

Ceres’ famous “bright spot” crater is now named Occator, after the Roman god of harrowing.
(NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

Video caption: Take a tour of weird Ceres! Visit a 2-mile-deep crater and a 4-mile-tall mountain
in the video narrated by mission director Marc Rayman. Get your red/blue glasses ready for the finale
– a global view of the dwarf planet in 3D.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/LPI/PSI

Ceres’ “Pyramid” Gets a Closer Look, But Bright Spots Remain a Mystery
by NANCY ATKINSON on AUGUST 26, 2015


NASA’s Dawn spacecraft spotted this tall, conical mountain on Ceres from a distance of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers).
The mountain, located in the southern hemisphere, stands 4 miles (6 kilometers) high. Its perimeter is sharply defined,
with almost no accumulated debris at the base of the brightly streaked slope. The image was taken on August 19, 2015.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Ceres' Bright Spots Seen in Striking New Detail 090915


The brightest spots on the dwarf planet Ceres gleam with mystery in new views delivered
by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. These closest-yet views of Occator crater, with a resolution of 450 feet (140 meters) per pixel,
give scientists a deeper perspective on these very unusual features.
CREDIT:NASA

Scientists Tantalized as Dawn Yields Global Mineral and Topographic Maps of Ceres
by KEN KREMER on SEPTEMBER 30, 2015


This map-projected view of Ceres was created from images taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft during its high-altitude mapping orbit,
in August and September, 2015. This color coded map can provide valuable insights into the mineral composition of the surface, as well
as the relative ages of surface features.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Dawn Starts Steep Descent to Most Dazzling Orbit of Ceres by KEN KREMER on OCTOBER 29, 2015


This mosaic shows Ceres’ Occator crater and surrounding terrain from an altitude of 915 miles
(1,470 kilometers), as seen by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. Occator is about 60 miles (90 kilometers) across and 2 miles
(4 kilometers) deep.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Dawn’s low altitude mapping orbit LAMO. This shows how the orbit naturally shifts slightly (relative to the sun)
during the three months of LAMO, starting in blue and ending in red. The spacecraft completes each revolution in 5.5 hours,
and Ceres rotates in 9.1 hours, so Dawn will be able to view the entire surface.
Credit: NASA/JPL

This view from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is a color-coded topographic map of Occator crater on Ceres.
Blue is the lowest elevation, and brown is the highest. The crater, which is home to the brightest spots on Ceres,
is approximately 56 miles (90 kilometers wide).
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

An artist’s conception shows NASA’s Dawn spacecraft flying above Ceres. This view incorporates actual imagery from the Dawn mission.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

New Clues to Ceres’ Bright Spots and Origins Dec 10, 2015

Published on Dec 9, 2015 Dwarf planet Ceres is shown in these false-color renderings, which highlight differences in surface materials.
Images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft were used to create a movie of Ceres rotating, followed by a flyover view of Occator Crater,
home of Ceres’ brightest area.

This representation of Ceres’ Occator Crater in false colors shows differences in the surface composition.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

About the Bright Spots Ceres has more than 130 bright areas, and most of them are associated with impact craters.
Study authors, led by Andreas Nathues at Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany,
write that the bright material is consistent with a type of magnesium sulfate called hexahydrite.
A different type of magnesium sulfate is familiar on Earth as Epsom salt.

-: See more

"The Global Nature of Ceres' bright spots suggests that this world has a subsurface layer that contains briny water ice" Nathues said


An image of Occator Crater draped over a digital terrain model provides a 3-D-like perspective view of the impact structure.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA - See more

A group of scientists from NASA’s Dawn mission suggests that when sunlight reaches Ceres’ Occator Crater,
a kind of thin haze of dust and evaporating water forms there.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA -

See more

Ceres Rotation and Occator Crater


Published on Dec 29, 2015 Dwarf planet Ceres is shown in these false-color renderings, which highlight differences in surface materials.
Images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft were used to create a movie of Ceres rotating, followed by a flyover view of Occator Crater,
home of Ceres’ brightest area.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

DAWN UNVEILS NEW BRIGHT FEATURES ON CERES IN STRIKING CLOSE-UPS Jan 13, 2016 by Ken Kremer


This image from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft shows Kupalo Crater, one of the youngest craters on Ceres.
The crater has bright material exposed on its rim and walls, which could be salts. Its flat floor likely formed
from impact melt and debris.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

This image from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft shows part of Messor Crater (25 miles or 40 kilometers, wide),
located at northern mid-latitudes on Ceres. The scene shows an older crater in which a large lobe-shaped flow partly covers
the northern (top) part of the crater floor. The flow is a mass of material ejected when a younger crater formed just north of the rim.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The fractured floor of Dantu Crater on Ceres is seen in this image from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft.
Similar fractures are seen in Tycho, one of the youngest large craters on Earth’s moon.
This cracking may have resulted from the cooling of impact melt, or when the crater floor was uplifted after the crater formed.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Flight Over Dwarf Planet Ceres


Published on Jan 29, 2016 Take a flight over dwarf planet Ceres in this video made with images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft.
The simulated flyover was made by the mission's camera team at Germany's national aeronautics and space research center (DLR).
Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

The motions of the bright spots on Ceres
The European Southern Observatory (ESO)


Published on Mar 16, 2016 This artist’s impression video is based on a detailed map of the surface compiled from images taken from
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres. It shows the very bright patches of material in the crater Occator
and elsewhere. New observations using the HARPS spectrograph on the ESO 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla in Chile have revealed
unexpected daily changes on these spots, suggesting that they change under the influence of sunlight as Ceres rotates.
This illustration shows how the features in the spectrum of the light reflected from the bright spots is alternately
red and blue shifted slightly compared to the average light of Ceres as it rotates. This very subtle effect has been
measured from the ground using the HARPS spectrograph on the ESO 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla in Chile.
The effect has been greatly exaggerated to make it visible and excludes the much brighter light coming from the rest of the disc of Ceres. More information and download options: http://www.eso.org/public/videos/eso1... Credit: ESO/L.Calçada/NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/­DLR/IDA/Steve Albers Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

BEST NASA IMAGES YET OF CERES’ BRIGHTEST SPOT 23 Mar , 2016 by Bob King

The bright central spots near the center of Occator Crater are shown in enhanced color
in this view from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. The view was produced by combining the highest resolution images
taken in February 2016 at an image scale of 115 feet (35 meters) per pixel with color images obtained in
September 2015 at a lower resolution added. Click for a highest-res view.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

Occator Crater, measuring 57 miles (92 kilometers) across and 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep,
contains the brightest area on Ceres.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

This global map shows the surface of Ceres in enhanced color, including infrared wavelengths beyond human visual range.
Photos were taken using infrared, green and blue filters and combined to create this view.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

This global map shows the surface of Ceres in enhanced color, including infrared wavelengths beyond human visual range.
Photos were taken using infrared, green and blue filters and combined to create this view.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

Oddly-Shaped Crater Spotted on Ceres

April 20, 2016 A newly-released photograph from NASA provides an amazingly colorful view of the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres,
including a crater which boasts an incredibly unique shape.
The impression, dubbed 'Haulani Crater,' sports remarkably straight lines that leave the site resembling a rudimentary stop sign (Octogon). The straight-edged nature of the crater was noted by NASA as quite different from similar locations found throughout space so far. Calling attention to the area, the space agency observed that "most craters seen on other planetary bodies, including Earth, are nearly circular." They went on to credit "pre-existing stress patterns and faults beneath the surface" for the odd shape of the crater. The new image also provides another look at the infamous 'bright spots' on Ceres which set of a firestorm of speculation in the paranormal community last year. Despite NASA's explanations for both oddities, it's likely that this new image will only further pique the interest of space anomaly
watchers who suspect that there is a much bigger story behind Ceres than merely a dwarf planet. Source: Christian Science Monitor

LARGE IMPACT CRATERS ON CERES HAVE GONE MISSING

A depression on Ceres is possibly what’s left of one of the largest craters from Ceres’ earliest collisional history.
Credit: SwRI/Simone Marchi.

Scientists with NASA’s Dawn mission were surprised to find that Ceres has no clear signs
of truly giant impact basins. This image shows both visible (left)
and topographic (right) mapping data from Dawn.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI.

Ceres' Missing Large Craters

Published on Jul 26, 2016 Ceres' lack of giant impact basins presents a puzzle to scientists. They expected to observe more large craters
on the dwarf planet than have been found by NASA's Dawn mission. Researchers are investigating a variety of processes
that might have caused the appearance of the largest basins to be softened or erased over time. For more information
about the Dawn mission, visit Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

What's Inside Ceres? New Findings from Gravity Data

This artist's concept shows a diagram of how the inside of Ceres could be structured, based on data about the dwarf planet's gravity field
from NASA's Dawn mission.
Using information about Ceres' gravity and topography, scientists found that Ceres is "differentiated,"
which means that it has compositionally distinct layers at different depths. The densest layer is at the core,
which scientists suspect is made of hydrated silicates. Above that is a volatile-rich shell, topped with a crust of mixed materials.

PHENOMENAL NEW VIEW OF CERES ‘LONELY MOUNTAIN’ REVEALS SIGNS OF VOLCANIC ACTIVITY

Whoa – what a sight! Ceres’ lonely mountain, Ahuna Mons, is seen in this simulated perspective view.
The elevation has been exaggerated by a factor of two. The view was made using enhanced-color images
from NASA’s Dawn mission in August from an altitude of 240 miles (385 km) in August 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

Ahuna Mons is seen in this mosaic of images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. On its steepest side,
this mountain is about 3 miles (5 km) high. Its average overall height is 2.5 miles (4 km).
The diameter of the mountain is about 12 miles (20 km). Dawn took these images from its low-altitude mapping orbit,
240 miles (385 kilometers) above the surface, in December 2015. Credits: NASA/JPL/Dawn mission

The Ahuna Mons dome compared to a dome in Russia. The similarity in appearance is striking though the difference in size is large. Credit: NASA

Young Cryovolcano on Ceres

Published on Sep 1, 2016 Analysis of images from NASA's Dawn mission reveals that dwarf planet Ceres hosts an unexpectedly young cryovolcano that formed with the past billion years. Read the full NASA.gov story here: Read the full paper in Science here: [link] For more Ceres images and animations, visit the JPL Photojournal: Music credits: "Farewell to the King" by Richard Friedman [ASCAP]; Jefandyo Music SESAC; Killer Tracks Production Music "Out of Control" by Amanda Leigh Wilson [PRS] and Stephen William Cornish [PRS]; Atmosphere Music Ltd PRS; Killer Tracks Production Music "Seven Sitars" by Chris Constantinou [PRS] and Paul Frazer [PRS]; Killer Tracks BMI; Killer Tracks Production Music Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Katrina Jackson This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio at: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12346 : If you liked this video, subscribe to the NASA Goddard YouTube channel Or subscribe to NASA’s Goddard Shorts HD Podcast: Follow NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center · Facebook: · Twitter · Flickr · Instagram +· Google Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

Dwarf planet Ceres is located in the asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
Observations by ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory between 2011 and 2013 found that the dwarf planet
has a thin water-vapor atmosphere, the first detection ever of water vapor around an asteroid in the asteroid belt.
Copyright ESA/ATG medialab/Küppers et al.

The small, bright crater Oxo (6 miles / 10 km wide) on Ceres is seen in this perspective view.
The elevation has been exaggerated by a factor of two. The view was made using enhanced-color images from NASA’s Dawn mission.
Dawn’s visible and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIR) has found evidence of water ice at this crater.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

In this illustration, a mud slurry rises up through Ceres’ crust to build a dome like Ahuna Mons.
Credit: Goddard Media Studios

The rim of Hamori Crater on Ceres is seen in the upper left portion of this image, which was taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft.
Clay is found at many locations on the dwarf planet.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

ICE, ICE EVERYWHERE, SAYS NEW STUDY ON CERES

Graphic showing a theoretical path of a water molecule on Ceres. Some water molecules fall into cold, dark craters called “cold traps,” where very little of the ice turns into vapor, even over the course of a billion years. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The concentrations of iron, potassium and carbon detected by the GRaND instrument also supports the theory that Ceres’ surface was altered by liquid water in the interior. Basically, scientists theorize that the decay of radioactive elements within Ceres created enough heat to cause the protoplanet’s structure to differentiate between a rocky interior and icy outer shell – which also allowed minerals like those observed to be deposited in the surface.

NASA's Dawn Spacecraft: Flight Over Occator Crater on Dwarf Planet Ceres

Published on Dec 15, 2016 This video shows the intriguing Occator Crater on Ceres, home to the dwarf planet's brightest area. It may have been produced by upwelling of salt-rich liquids after the impact that formed the crater. The animated flyover includes topographic and enhanced-color views of the crater, highlighting the central dome feature. The animation was produced by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Original music by Stefan Elgner, DLR. For more information about the Dawn mission, visit Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

Image: This animation shows how the illumination of Ceres’ northern hemisphere varies with the dwarf planet’s axial tilt, or obliquity. Shadowed regions are highlighted for tilts of 2 degrees, 12 degrees and 20 degrees. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA.

CONFIRMED: CERES HAS A TRANSIENT ATMOSPHERE

This image of Ceres approximates how the dwarf planet's colors would appear to the eye. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Dwarf planet Ceres is located in the asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
Observations by ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory between 2011 and 2013 found that the dwarf planet
has a thin water-vapor atmosphere, the first detection ever of water vapor around an asteroid in the asteroid belt.
Copyright ESA/ATG medialab/Küppers et al.

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft determined the hydrogen content of the upper yard, or meter, of Ceres’ surface. Blue indicates where hydrogen content is higher, near the poles, while red indicates lower content at lower latitudes. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

WOW! ASTEROID/DWARF PLANET CERES ONCE HAD AN OCEAN?

A view of Ceres in natural colour, pictured by the Dawn spacecraft in May 2015. Credit: NASA/ JPL/Planetary Society/Justin Cowart

Ceres. as imaged by the NASA Dawn probe. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Diagram showing a possible internal structure of Ceres. Credit: NASA/ESA/STScI/A. Feild

Ancient Ocean on Ceres?

Gravity measurements of Ceres, which provided hints about its internal structure. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Finite element modeling of Ceres’ topography [Fu et al., 2017] shows that the topographic power cannot be supported by a solely ice rheology [physics dealing with the deformation and flow of matter] over billion year timescales. Using a lower bound for crustal density based on rheology, we derive constraints on the crustal thickness using the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium. A low-density, high strength mixture is required to explain the inferred crustal density and rheology. The latter does not allow more than 43 vol% silicates assuming 15% void porosity in the crust. Therefore, lower density materials, such as salt or gas (clathrate) hydrates, are required.

Image: This animation shows Ceres as seen by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft from its high-altitude mapping orbit at 1,470 kilometers above the surface. The colorful map overlaid at right shows variations in Ceres’ gravity field measured by Dawn, and gives scientists hints about the dwarf planet’s internal structure. Red colors indicate more positive values, corresponding to a stronger gravitational pull than expected, compared to scientists’ pre-Dawn model of Ceres’ internal structure;blue colors indicate more negative values, corresponding to a weaker gravitational pull. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA.

NASA Dawn Reveals Recent Changes in Ceres’ Surface

Mar 16, 2018


Click here to return to top of page


Richard C. Hoagland Investigates CERES
Additional Information Mr. Hoagland's research

Home page:Richard C. Hoagland's home page


As NASA's unmanned DAWN spacecraft approached the largest asteroid, Ceres,
in March, 2015, it imaged two remarkable sets of "lights" lying in the bottom of a 55-mile-wide crater.
Determined to be intense reflections (~100%) of the weak sunlight illuminating the rest Ceres' extremely dark surface,
the fundamental nature of these intense solar reflections still remains(as of June 18, 2015) totally unknown.

A closer DAWN image of the "Ceres Lights," revealing the remarkable miles-wide geometry
and "organized" placement of both the main reflections, as well as the attendant "satellite" reflections.
A natural explanation for this highly-organized collection is increasingly unlikely, according to Enterprise Mission analysis.
The most startling aspect of the "Ceres Lights" lies in their geographic placement on Ceres' surface --
precisely at 19.5 degrees! This specific latitude has been identified in other Enterprise research as a key
location for both natural geophysical energy upwellings, as well as the deliberate siting of ancient artificial structures on Earth.

This wide-angle DAWN image shows another unique feature on the Ceres' surface --
a 3-mile-high "pyramid" Ascribed to a natural "cryovolcanic" process by some NASA specialists,
the Enterprise Mission suspects this remarkable feature could have a much more interesting explanation:
as the 3-mile-high ruins of a former "ancient glass arcology" (a contained living environment).

Close-up DAWN image of the possible "3-mile-high, ancient arcology" on Ceres.
Note the complex interior layering and sharp, geometric "base."
An equally puzzling geometgric feature seems to lie in an adjacent crater.
Future imaging of these remarkable features from the DAWN spacecraft will be from a hundred times closer,
and should reveal if the Enterprise "artificial model" is correct.

This DAWN comparison (prepared by Enterprise Mission Associate, Ron Gerbron)
reveals another "anomalous, geometric complex" on the Ceres surface.
Measuring about fifty miles across, the three-dimensional, geometric nature of the bright,
more reflective structures really stands out against the much darker (less reflective) surrounding Ceres'
surface. Again, closer planned imaging should be 100 times better than this version --
allowing scientific determination of the reason for the amazing interior geometry.

This "virtual color" version of the previous DAWN image reveals the remarkable,
highly reflective glass-like nature of this Cerean geometry. If these, indeed, are "ruins,"
future DAWN imaging should allow positive determination by late Fall.

This startling Rosetta image comparison -- between a layered, sharply artiifical-looking pyramid-
like structure on Comet 67P, and a fictional "G'ould Pyramid Ship" in the Hollywood film "Stargate" --
is only one of hundreds of equally remarkable "ancient ruins" studding the surface of this "comet."
Future, closer imaging by the European Rosetta spacecaft may provide enough detail
for a more conclusive determination of the origins of this and all the other "anomalous features" on 67P.


Click here to return to top of page


Mission to the asteroid RYUGU







OCTOBER 3, 2018 BY MATT WILLIAMS
Japanese Rovers are Now on the Surface of an Asteroid, Sending Back Amazing Pictures

n December of 2014, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the Hayabusa2 mission. As the second spacecraft to bear this name, Hayabusa2 was deployed by JAXA to conduct a sample-return mission with an asteroid. By studying samples of the near-Earth asteroid 162173 Ryugu, scientists hope to shed new light on the history of the early Solar System

A Japanese rover filmed the surface of asteroid Ryugu | Science News

Artist’s conception of the MINERVA-II1 rovers. Credit: JAXA

Rover-1B shot a 15-frame movie on asteroid Ryugu’s surface. This movie covers a little over an hour, 9:34 a.m. to 10:48 a.m. EDT, on September 22. “Enjoy ‘standing’ on the surface of this asteroid!” the Hayabusa2 team tweeted. Read more:

Image of Ryugu captured by the ONC-T on September 21st, 2018. This is the highest resolution photograph obtained of the surface of Ryugu. Bottom left is a large boulder. Credit: JAXA

Region of the highest resolution image. Yellow boxes correspond to the region in Figure 1. Credit: JAXA

OCTOBER 5, 2018 BY EVAN GOUGH
A German-French Hopping Robot Just Landed on the Surface of Asteroid Ryugu

Earlier this week asteroid Ryugu had a visitor. The Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) landed on Ryugu on October 3rd after it was successfully deployed from the Japanese Hayabusa2 space probe. The little hopping robot’s visit was brief however, and it stopped functioning on Oct. 4th 2018.

MASCOT Lander Verified account @MASCOT2018 Follow Follow @MASCOT2018 More Check this out! I took this picture when I was almost on #Ryugu's surface. Look at how sunlight is reflected off me. What a dark surface! Credit: MASCOT/@DLR_en /@JAXA_en #AsteroidLanding

An artist’s illustration of MASCOT, the French-German hopping robot, on the surface of asteroid Ryugu. Image: Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

An artist’s illustration of MASCOT, the little hopping robot, on the surface of asteroid Ryugu. Image Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

MASCOT the hopping robot attached to Hayabusa2 before deployment. Artist’s illustration. Image Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

OCTOBER 15, 2018 BY EVAN GOUGH
The Path that MASCOT Took Across Asteroid Ryugu During its 17 Hours of Life

MASCOT’s path across the surface of asteroid Ryugu. The path was recreated using data from the robot and from the mother probe Hayabusa2. Hayabusa2’s shadow is visible at the bottim right. The yellow line is the robot’s flight path down to the asteroid, and the blue line is the projection of these points onto Ryugu’s surface. The blue line heading towards the right of the image is MASCOT’s path along Ryugu’s surface. Image Credit: DLR/JAXA

The MASCAM camera captured the image on the right during MASCOT descent to Ryugu. The white triangle in the left image shows the area covered by the image on the right. Scientist’s are puzzled by the lack of fine dust and rock on the asteroid. Image Credit: MASCOT/DLR/JAXA

MASCAM captured the image on the right as it tumbled toward Ryugu’s surface. A huge boulder tens of meters wide casts a dark shadow. The image on the left contains a white open trapezoid, showing the direction of the image on the right. Image: MASCAM/DLR/JAXA


Click here to return to top of page


IMAGES AGAINST GALAXIES!!

A LONG EXPOSURE HUBBLE IMAGE OF A GALAXY CLUSTER ALSO TURNED UP 22 ASTEROIDS

Hubble image of the galaxy cluster Abell 370, showing the trails caused by 22 Near-Earth Asteroids. Credit: NASA, ESA, and B. Sunnquist and J. Mack (STScI) Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz (STScI) and the HFF Team

Artist’s impression of a Near-Earth Asteroid passing by Earth. Credit: ESA


Click here to return to top of page


FUTURE MISSIONS



A Mission to a Metal World: The Psyche Mission by MATT WILLIAMS on OCTOBER 8, 2015


Artist’s concept of the Psyche spacecraft, a proposed mission for NASA’s Discovery program
that would explore the huge metal Psyche asteroid from orbit.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The huge metal asteroid Psyche may have a strong remnant magnetic field. Credit: Damir Gamulin/Ben Weiss

The asteroid Psyche is one of the larger asteroids. Credit: Lindy T. Elkins-Tanton

MISSION TO METAL WORLD TAKES A BIG STEP FORWARD WITH THRUSTER TEST


This illustration depicts the spacecraft of NASA's Psyche mission orbiting the metal asteroid Psyche (pronounced SY-kee). Solar power with electric propulsion will be used to propel the spacecraft to Psyche. The asteroid's average distance from the sun is about three times the Earth's distance or 280 million miles. Credit: SSL/ASU/P. Rubin/NASA/JPL-Caltech

Psyche and Spacecraft


Animation of spacecraft flying around asteroid Psyche. NASA news release:

We are using our vacuum chamber to test the Hall Effect Rocket with Magnetic Shielding (HERMeS) thruster, which could propel NASA’s future vehicles to deep space. It operates at 12.5 kW; three times greater power than existing systems. (audio-music) Video credit: NASA Rami Daud, Alcyon Technical Services

Artist’s impression of the surface of 16 Psyche. Credit: Arizona State University / NASA

NASA ANNOUNCES MISSIONS TO EXPLORE EARLY SOLAR SYSTEM


An artist’s conception of the Lucy spacecraft (left) flying by the Trojan Eurybates, and Psyche (Right) Psyche, the first mission to the metal world 16 Psyche. Credits: SwRI and SSL/Peter Rubin

Artist’s concept of the Lucy spacecraft flying by Eurybates, one of the six diverse and scientifically important Trojans it will study. Credit: SwRI

Published on Jan 4, 2017 On Jan. 4, NASA announced the selection of two missions to explore previously unexplored asteroids. The first mission, called Lucy, will study asteroids, known as Trojan asteroids, trapped by Jupiter’s gravity. The Psyche mission will explore a very large and rare object in the solar system’s asteroid belt that’s made of metal, and scientists believe might be the exposed core of a planet that lost its rocky outer layers from a series of violent collisions. Lucy is targeted for launch in 2021 and Psyche in 2023. Both missions have the potential to open new windows on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system – a time less than 10 million years after the birth of our sun. Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

An artist’s rendition of Psyche, the asteroid that is the target of a NASA mission in the next decade. Planetary scientists speculate it was once the nickel-iron core of a small planet. Credit Peter Rubin/Arizona State University


Artist’s concept of the Lucy spacecraft flying by Eurybates, one of the six diverse and scientifically important Trojans it will study. Credit: SwRI

The Next Generation of Exploration: The NEOCam Mission by MATT WILLIAMS on OCTOBER 9, 2015


Near-Earth Asteroids (NEO) of large size can potentially orbit close to Earth, making them Potentially Hazardous Objects (PHO). Credit: ESA

Artist’s concept of the NEOCam spacecraft, a proposed mission for NASA’s Discovery program that would search for potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The NEOCam sensor (right) is the lynchpin for the proposed Near Earth Object Camera, or NEOCam, space mission (left).
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mechanisms For NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission Start Rigorous Testing at NASA Goddard
by KEN KREMER on OCTOBER 27, 2015


Robotic sampling arm and capture mechanism to collect a multi-ton boulder from an asteroid are under development
at NASA Goddard and other agency centers for NASA’s unmanned Asteroid Redirect Vehicle and eventual docking in
lunar orbit with Orion crew vehicle by the mid 2020s. Credit: Ken Kremer

This engineering design unit of the robotic servicing arm is under development to autonomously extract
a boulder off an asteroid for NASA’s asteroid retrieval mission and is being tested at NASA Goddard.
It has seven degrees of freedom and mimics a human arm. Credit: Ken Kremer

Capture Module comprising two robotic servicing arms and three boulder grappling contact
and restraint system legs for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM).
Credit: NASA

Artists concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder
before redirecting it to a astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth’s moon.
Credits: NASA

View of the robotic arm above and gripper tool below that initially grabs the asteroid boulder
before the capture legs wrap around as planned for NASA’s upcoming unmanned ARRM Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission
that will later dock with an Orion crew vehicle.
Credit: Ken Kremer

Published on Mar 26, 2015 This concept animation illustrates the robotic segment of NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission. The Asteroid Redirect Vehicle, powered by solar electric propulsion, travels to a large asteroid to robotically collect a boulder from its surface. It then conducts a "gravity tractor" planetary defense demonstration on the asteroid before bringing the captured boulder to a stable orbit around the moon where astronauts can visit, explore, and sample it. Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

Orion crew capsule docks to NASA’s asteroid redirect vehicle grappling captured asteroid boulder orbiting the Moon.
Credit: NASA

At NASA Goddard robotics lab Ben Reed/NASA Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office (SSCO)
Deputy Project Manager and Ken Kremer/Universe Today discuss the robotic servicing arm and asteroid boulder
capture mechanism being tested for NASA’s upcoming unmanned ARRM Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission that will dock
with an Orion crew vehicle in lunar orbit by the mid 2020s for sample return collection.
Credit: Ken Kremer

Nuke the threatening Asteroids


A new space project, the Emergency Asteroid Defense Project (EADP), created to protect the planet
from large asteroids and other Near Earth Objects (NEOs). Image credit NASA 'Help Defend Earth Against Asteroid Threats,'
a new campaign launched to raise money for a rapid, first line of defence against threating asteroids

Asteroid Redirect Mission: Robotic Segment


Published on Mar 26, 2015 This concept animation illustrates the robotic segment of NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission.
The Asteroid Redirect Vehicle, powered by solar electric propulsion, travels to a large asteroid
to robotically collect a boulder from its surface. It then conducts a "gravity tractor" planetary defense
demonstration on the asteroid before bringing the captured boulder to a stable orbit around the moon where
astronauts can visit, explore, and sample it. Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

NASA's new budget could mean the end of their Asteroid Redirect Mission.
Image: NASA (Artist's illustration)


Click here to return to top of page