Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 101, Issue 1–2, pp 65–91 | Cite as

Dawn Mission to Vesta and Ceres

Symbiosis between Terrestrial Observations and Robotic Exploration
  • C. T. Russell
  • F. Capaccioni
  • A. Coradini
  • M. C. De Sanctis
  • W. C. Feldman
  • R. Jaumann
  • H. U. Keller
  • T. B. McCord
  • L. A. McFadden
  • S. Mottola
  • C. M. Pieters
  • T. H. Prettyman
  • C. A. Raymond
  • M. V. Sykes
  • D. E. Smith
  • M. T. Zuber


The initial exploration of any planetary object requires a careful mission design guided by our knowledge of that object as gained by terrestrial observers. This process is very evident in the development of the Dawn mission to the minor planets 1 Ceres and 4 Vesta. This mission was designed to verify the basaltic nature of Vesta inferred both from its reflectance spectrum and from the composition of the howardite, eucrite and diogenite meteorites believed to have originated on Vesta. Hubble Space Telescope observations have determined Vesta’s size and shape, which, together with masses inferred from gravitational perturbations, have provided estimates of its density. These investigations have enabled the Dawn team to choose the appropriate instrumentation and to design its orbital operations at Vesta. Until recently Ceres has remained more of an enigma. Adaptive-optics and HST observations now have provided data from which we can begin to confidently plan the mission. These observations reveal a rotationally symmetric body with little surface relief, an ultraviolet bright point that can be used as a control point for determining the pole and anchoring a geographic coordinate system. They also reveal albedo and color variations that provide tantalizing hints of surface processes.


Dawn Discovery mission Asteroids Ceres Vesta 


  1. M.F. A’Hearn, P.D. Feldman, Icarus 98, 54–60 (1992)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. E. Asphaug, Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 32, 965 (1997)ADSGoogle Scholar
  3. R.P. Binzel, S. Xu, S.J. Bus, M.F. Skrutskie, M.R. Meyer, P. Knezek, E.S. Barker, Science 260, 186 (1993)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. R.P. Binzel, M.J. Gaffey, P.C. Thomas, B.H. Zellner, A.D. Storrs, E.N. Wells, Icarus 128, 95–103 (1997)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  5. T.H. Burbine, P.C. Buchanan, R.P. Binzel, S.J. Bus, T. Hiroi, J.L. Hinrichs, A. Meibom, T.J. McCoy, Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 36, 761 (2001)ADSGoogle Scholar
  6. W.M. Calvin, R.N. Clark, Icarus 104, 69–78 (1993)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  7. A. Coradini et al., Planet. Space. Sci. 46(9/10), 1291–1304 (1998)Google Scholar
  8. G. Dreibus, J. Bruckner, H. Wanke, Meteort. Planet. Sci. 32, A36 (1997)Google Scholar
  9. J.D. Drummond, R.Q. Fugate, J.C. Christou, Icarus 132, 80–99 (1998)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  10. F. Fanale, J. Salvail, Icarus 82, 97–110 (1989)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  11. M. Feierberg, M.J. Drake, Science 209, 805–807 (1980)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  12. M. Feierberg, H.P. Larson, U. Fink, H.A. Smith, Geochim. Cosmochimi. Acta 44, 513–524 (1980)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  13. M.J. Gaffey, Icarus 127, 130–157 (1997)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  14. M. Gaffey, T.B. McCord, Space Sci. Rev. 21, 555–628 (1978)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  15. A. Ghosh, H.Y. McSween Jr., Icarus 134, 187–206 (1998)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  16. L.F. Golubeva, D.I. Shestopalov, Astronom. Vestnik. 29, 37–46 (1995)ADSGoogle Scholar
  17. S. Hasegawa, K. Murakawa, M. Ishiguro, H. Nonaka, N. Takato, C. Davis, M. Ueno, T. Hiroi, Geophys. Res. Lett. 30 (2003) DOI 10.1029/2003GL018627 Google Scholar
  18. J.L. Hilton, Astron. J. 17, 1077–1086 (1999)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  19. R.H. Hewins, H.E. Newsom, in Meteorites and the Early Solar System, eds. by J.F. Kerridge, M.S. Matthews (University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1988), pp. 73–101Google Scholar
  20. S.B. Jacobsen, Science 300, 1513–1514 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. M.S. Kelley, F. Vilas, M.J. Gaffey, P.A. Abell, Icarus 165, 215–218 (2003)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  22. T.V.V. King, R.N. Clark, W.M. Calvin, D.M. Sherman, R.H. Brown, Science 255, 1551–1553 (1992)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  23. T. Kleine, C. Munker, K. Mezger, H. Palme, Nature 418, 952–955 (2002)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  24. A.S. Konopliv, J.K. Miller, W.M. Owen, D.K. Yeomans, J.D. Giorgini, R. Garmier, J.P. Barriot, Icarus 160, 289–299 (2002)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  25. L.A. Lebofsky, M.A. Feierberg, A.T. Tokunaga, H.P. Larson, J.R. Johnson, Icarus 48, 453–459 (1981)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  26. J.Y. Li, L.A. McFadden, J. Parker, Wm, E.F. Young, S.A. Stern, P.C. Thomas, C.T. Russell, M.V. Sykes, Icarus 182, 143–160 (2006)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  27. G.W. Lugmair, A. Shukolyukov, J. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 62, 2863–2886 (1998)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  28. F. Marzari, A. Cellino, D.R. Davis, P. Farinella, V. Zappala, V. Vanzani, Astron. Astrophys. 316, 248 (1996)ADSGoogle Scholar
  29. T.B. McCord, C. Sotin, J. Geophys. Res. 110, E05009 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. T.B. McCord, J.B. Adams, T.V. Johnson, Science 168, 1445–1447 (1970)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  31. L.A. McFadden, T.B. McCord, C. Peters, Icarus 31, 439–446 (1977)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  32. G. Michalak, Astron. Astrophys. 360, 363–374 (2000)ADSGoogle Scholar
  33. J.K. Miller, B.G. Williams, W.E. Bollman, R.P. Davis, C.E. Helfrich, D.J. Scheeres, S.P. Synnott, T.C. Wang, D.K. Yeomans, J. Astro. S. 43, 453–476 (1995)Google Scholar
  34. F. Migliorini, A. Morbidelli, V. Zappala, B.J. Gladman, M.E. Bailey, A. Cellino, Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 32, 903 (1997)ADSGoogle Scholar
  35. L.E. Nyquist, D. Bogard, H. Takeda, B. Bansal, H. Wiesmann, C.Y. Shih, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 61, 2119–2138 (1997)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  36. T.H. Prettyman, W.C. Feldman, K.R. Fuller, S.A. Storms, S.A. Soldner, Cs. Szeles, F.P. Ameduri, D.J. Lawrence, M.C. Browne, C.E. Moss, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci. 49, 1881–1886 (2002)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  37. T.H. Prettyman, W.C. Feldman, F.P. Ameduri, B.L. Barraclough, E.W. Cascio, K.R. Fuller, H.O. Funsten, D.J. Lawrence, G.W. McKinney, C.T. Russell, S.A. Soldner, S.A. Storms, Cs. Szeles, R.L. Tokar, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci. 50, 1190–1197 (2003)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  38. M.D. Rayman, T.C. Fraschetti, C.A. Raymond, C.T. Russell, Acta Astronautica 58, 605–616 (2006)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  39. F. Reininger et al., SPIE. 2819, 66–77 (1996)Google Scholar
  40. K. Righter, M.J. Drake, Meteort. Planet. Sci. 32, 929–944 (1997)ADSGoogle Scholar
  41. A. Ruzicka, G.A. Snyder, L.A. Taylor, Meteort. Planet. Sci. 32, 825–840 (1997)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. E.N. Slyuta, S.A. Voropaev, Icarus 129, 401–414 (1997)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  43. G. Srinivasan, J.N. Goswami, N. Bhandari, Science 284, 1348–1350 (1999)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  44. F. Tera, R.W. Carlson, N.Z. Boctor, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 61, 1713–1732 (1997)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  45. D. Tholen, M.A. Barucci, in Asteroids II, ed. by R.P.Binzel, T. Gehrels, M.S. Matthews (University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1989), pp. 298–315Google Scholar
  46. P.C. Thomas, R.P. Binzel, M.J. Gaffey, A.D. Storrs, E.N. Wells, B.H. Zellner, Science 277, 1492–1495 (1997a)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  47. P.C. Thomas, R.P. Binzel, M.J. Gaffey, B.H. Zellner, A.D. Storrs, E.N. Wells, Icarus 128, 88–94 (1997b)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  48. P.C. Thomas, J.Wm. Parker, L.A. McFadden, C.T. Russell, S.A. Stern, M.V. Sykes, E.F. Young, Nature 437, 224–226 (2005)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  49. A.H. Treiman, A. Lanzirotti, D. Xirouchakis, Earth Planet Sci. Lett. 219, 189–199 (2004)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  50. Q. Yin, S.B. Jacobsen, K. Yamashita, J. Blichart-Trott, P. Telouk, F. Albarede, Nature 418, 949–952 (2002)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  51. F. Vilas, A.L. Cochran, K.S. Jarvis, Icarus 147, 119 (2000)Google Scholar
  52. J.G. Williams, in Asteroids II, ed. by R.P. Binzel, T. Gehrels, M.S. Matthews (University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1989), pp. 1034Google Scholar
  53. V. Zappala, A. Cellino, P. Farinella, Z. Knezevic, Nature 412, 220–227 (1990)Google Scholar
  54. M.T. Zuber, D.E. Smith, F.G. Lemoine, G.A. Neumann, Science 266, 1839–1843 (1994)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  55. M.T. Zuber, S.C. Solomon, R.J. Phillips, D.E. Smith, G.L. Tyler, O. Aharonson, G. Balmino, W.B. Banerdt, J.W. Head, F.G. Lemoine, P.J. McGovern, G.A. Neumann, D.D. Rowlands, Science 287, 1788–1793 (2000)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. T. Russell
    • 1
  • F. Capaccioni
    • 2
  • A. Coradini
    • 3
  • M. C. De Sanctis
    • 4
  • W. C. Feldman
    • 5
  • R. Jaumann
    • 6
  • H. U. Keller
    • 7
  • T. B. McCord
    • 8
  • L. A. McFadden
    • 9
  • S. Mottola
    • 6
  • C. M. Pieters
    • 10
  • T. H. Prettyman
    • 5
  • C. A. Raymond
    • 11
  • M. V. Sykes
    • 12
  • D. E. Smith
    • 13
  • M. T. Zuber
    • 14
  1. 1.IGPP & ESS, UCLALos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.INAFRomeItaly
  3. 3.IFSIRomeItaly
  4. 4.IAFSRomeItaly
  5. 5.LANLLos AlamosUSA
  6. 6.DLR Rutherfordstr 2BerlinGermany
  7. 7.MPAEKatlenburg-LindauGermany
  8. 8.University of HawaiiHonoluluUSA
  9. 9.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  10. 10.Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  11. 11.JPLPasadenaUSA
  12. 12.PSITucsonUSA
  13. 13.GSFCGreenbeltUSA
  14. 14.MITCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations