[astroCS] Zrusena misia DAWN k planetkam Ceres a Vesta

Marek Husarik mhusarik at ta3.sk
Sun Mar 5 22:26:53 UTC 2006

 Asteroid mission canceled in latest NASA setback

Friday, March 3, 2006; Posted: 9:59 a.m. EST (14:59 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- NASA on Thursday canceled a mission to visit
two asteroids, five months after the program was put on hold because of cost
overruns and technical problems.

The cancellation is the latest setback for NASA, which has been forced to
delay science missions to focus on developing a new manned spacecraft to
return to the moon in the next decade.

The project was capped at around $371 million, project scientists said
previously. But scientists asked for an additional $40 million last year.

The Dawn spacecraft was supposed to lift off in June on a nine-year voyage
to two of the solar system's largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta, which
reside in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Asteroids are believed to be remnants from the solar system's formation
about 4.5 billion years ago, and studying them could provide clues into how
the sun and planets formed.

Dawn would have been the first spacecraft to orbit the two asteroids, which
scientists believe formed in different parts of the solar system and had
different evolutionary processes.

Dawn was part of a NASA program called Discovery that aims to explore the
solar system on what the space agency considers to be a shoestring budget.
The program includes the Stardust mission, which returned to Earth in
January with samples of comet dust.

The Dawn mission was managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in
Pasadena, California.


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