Thursday, November 10, 2005

NASA - Darkness as Dawn goes on hold

Seen on NASAwatch

NASA ordered the Discovery class Dawn mission to stand down for its 2006 launch.

ie they are to put launch on indefinite hold.
Sounds like there were some technical issues, but unless someone ain't telling, they sound like "normal difficulties".
Real problem seems to be NASA cuts and JPL cuts in particular.

Dawn is an ion engine propelled mission to the asteroids Ceres and Vesta.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dawn is not nearly as sensitive as most missions to delays. It has a truly huge launch window. However, too long of a delay risks the whole project being canceled. You'd think that they would not do something that foolish after spending all the money, alreay having the spacecraft, etc., but ...

6:43 PM  
Blogger Steve Thorsett said...

Just to note the possibly confusing fact that there are two of us named astroprof posting responses on Steinn's little blog...

2:14 PM  
Blogger Steinn said...

I see... that explains much.

Next, we need to get you both to be at the same meeting at the same time, to prove you are really two different people. Then you can do an impromptu rap on a topic To Be Determined and we can put the soundtrack and pictures on the web.

It is traditional.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NASA not only has the spacecraft (mostly), they have completely built instruments that are going into long term storage this week. Since two of the three instruments are foreign, built with the foreign partner's (ASI, DLR) money, maybe NASA feels that they risk little by delaying, cancelling, etc?

4:25 PM  
Blogger Steinn said...

Well, NASA is building up quite a stash of completed instruments and buses... maybe there's room in the warehouse holding COS and WF3.

However... NASA is actually risking a lot. My sense is that ESA and the national European agencies are near the true breaking point where they are Mad as Hell and Not Going to Take It Anymore.

Or not.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes.. The level of trust of ASI (Italian Space Agency) towards NASA is low, especially now with this Dawn story. (But I should say that, within Italy, ASI's performance to fullfill its promises and contracts in the last few years is far from stellar.) The scientists are in the middle, surrounded. :-(

9:19 AM  

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