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Spacecraft

Dawn Flight Team
Spacecraft

As a Discovery Program mission, Dawn uses tried and true technologies with inventive applications to meet mission objectives both creatively and cost efficiently. The Dawn spacecraft combines innovative state-of-the-art technologies pioneered by other recent missions with off-the-shelf components and, in some cases, spare parts and instrumentation left over from previous missions.

Ever pragmatic, most systems on the spacecraft have a backup available if the main system encounters a problem. Automated onboard fault protection software will sense any unusual conditions and attempt to switch to backups.

Key Destinations
Ion Propulsion
    Artisit rendering of Dawn spacecraft leaving Earth's orbit     Radio Science
    Artisit rendering of Dawn spacecraft approaching Ceres

Power on!
- Ion Propulsion
- Solar Power

   

Navigating
- Dawn's Got Attitude
- Communication

   

Technology
- Science Payload

   

Spacecraft
- Structure
- Watch Dawn Flight Team    Video