July 09, 2007
Puttering Around the Belt

Ron gets a no-prize with a wicked cool propulsion system for bringing us this update on NASA's Dawn space probe. After several trials and tribulations which nearly derailed the whole program, Dawn is scheduled to launch next Monday. It's mission is to visit several prominent asteroids between Mars and Jupiter. What enables this probe to do the to-date unprecedented task of orbiting and de-orbiting various objects is the real innovation: an ion engine which, while not powerful by terrestrial standards, is plenty strong enough to get the job done efficiently and economically.

I wonder if it'll make that cool howling noise as it goes by?

Posted by scott at July 09, 2007 03:45 PM

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