Breaking Dawn: NASA’s asteroid belt mission runs out of fuel

Featured Breaking Dawn: NASA’s asteroid belt mission runs out of fuel

After 11 years, 4.3 billion miles (6.9 billion kilometers) and two planetary orbits, NASA’s Dawn mission has been declared over after the craft failed to communicate with Earth for two days in a row.

The 11-year mission to investigate “time capsules from the solar system’s earliest chapter” in the asteroid belt concluded after Dawn finally ran out of hydrazine fuel, which meant it could no longer turn to face Earth, to communicate, or the sun, to recharge.

Dusk for Dawn: NASA Mission to the Asteroid Belt

The probe, currently in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, missed communications with NASA’s Deep Space Network on Wednesday and Thursday; and mission managers were forced to confirm the end of the mission.

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