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Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung
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The targets of the Dawn mission could not be more different: While Vesta once had a hot, molten interior that produced lava flows, Ceres has always been a cold body, under whose surface possibly frozen water can be found. In addition, both bodies allow for a look back into an early phase of our solar system. Both asteroids are among the largest survivors from this early phase of planet formation. more...
Dawn is a NASA mission managed by the Jet Propulaion Laboratory (JPL) that will reach the asteroids Vesta and Ceres within the next years. The space probe will encounter its first destination, the asteroid Vesta, in the summer of 2011. Presumably at the end of July, Dawn will start orbiting Vesta and deliver its first high-resolution images of the surface. more...
The mission's success crucially depends on the two cameras, Dawn's eyes. The cameras were developed and built under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research with significant contributions by the Institute for Planetary Research of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and in coordination with the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering of the Technical University Braunschweig. more...