Recently, it was unveiled the space probe’s most significant discovery on the dwarf planet Ceres. The announcement was made during the newest episode of NASA’s “On a Mission” podcast. The dwarf planet resembles some specific things of Earth’s, such as the fact it could support life, according to the project manager.
Planet Ceres and Vesta are part of NASA’s Dawn mission officially released in 2007, to analyze the massive protoplanets. The immense protoplanets were born after the collision of kilometer-sized asteroids, according to scientists. Marc Rayman, the project manager for the mission, explained how difficult the mission was and the challenges the team members encountered.
He stated: ” The detailed exploration required orbiting them, not just flying by. For most solar system bodies that we’ve investigated, first, we send a spacecraft to fly by. And Vesta and Ceres, in terms of solar system exploration, are very unusual in being the only massive objects which we didn’t the first fly by, but immediately started by orbiting, which presented some challenges for the Dawn Mission.”
Dwarf Planet Ceres Could Evolve as the Earth, says NASA
Many highly-detailed images of Vesta and Ceres helped Rayman and his team to study the one-of-a-kind things of the dwarf planets. They identified the presence of water and some other organic chemicals on Ceres.
Such found elements are the same, which led to the creation of living organisms on Earth. Also, Ceres could posses enough chemistry that’s similar to the chemistry that helped life to rise on Earth.
NASA ended the Dawn mission in November 2018. The mission was completed, and after it, the Dawn space probe was officially parted. Currently, it is following an independent orbit around Ceres. Such a mission marked a milestone from NASA, is the first time when a spacecraft went and orbited two colossal space objects.