Dawn Is Dead: NASA's Pioneering Asteroid-Belt Mission Runs Out of Fuel | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Dawn Is Dead: NASA's Pioneering Asteroid-Belt Mission Runs Out of Fuel

NASA's Dawn spacecraft — which orbited the two largest objects in the asteroid belt, Vesta and Ceres, during its long and accomplished life — has run out of fuel and died, agency officials announced today (Nov. 1).

"Today, we celebrate the end of our Dawn mission — its incredible technical achievements, the vital science it gave us and the entire team who enabled the spacecraft to make these discoveries," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C., said in a statement. [Photos: Asteroid Vesta and NASA's Dawn Spacecraft]

"The astounding images and data that Dawn collected from Vesta and Ceres are critical to understanding the history and evolution of our solar system," Zurbuchen added.

Dawn's death is the second blow of a rapid one-two punch for space fans. NASA officials announced Tuesday (Oct. 30) that the agency's Kepler space telescope, which has discovered 70 percent of the 3,800 known alien planets to date, is out of fuel as well. Kepler will be decommissioned in the next week or two.

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