Dawn and Vesta News Conference – Monday 1 August 2011

ED: Images from the press conference are here. Full Rotation of Vesta is here.

NASA will hold a news conference on Monday 1 August 2011 at 9:00 AM Phoenix time (Noon EDT) and release the first full frame images of Vesta from the framing camera.

Both NASA Television and the JPL’s website will broadcast the event. It also will be carried live on Ustream.

The news conference panelists are:

  • Colleen Hartman, assistant associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington
  • Charles Elachi, director, JPL
  • Marc Rayman, chief engineer and mission manager, JPL
  • Christopher Russell, Dawn principal investigator, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Holger Sierks, framing camera team member, Max Planck Society, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
  • Enrico Flamini, chief scientist, Italian Space Agency (ASI), Rome, Italy

Dawn will begin intensive data collection from its four instruments beginning in early August:

  • Framing Camera – Scientific imaging system of the Dawn Mission
  • Visual and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (VIR) – produces spectral images from 0.35 to 0.9 micron, 0.8 to 2.5 micron and 2.4 to 5.0 micron.
  • Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometer (GRaND) – Measures elemental abundances on the surface of Vesta and Ceres.
  • Gravity Science – Utilizes the radio link used for communications and carefully observe the Doppler shift in the link’s carrier frequency.

After spending one year orbiting Vesta, Dawn will travel to a second destination, the dwarf planet Ceres, and arrive there in February 2015.