Jet Propulsion Laboratory 2007 Open House
Saturday and Sunday, May 19th and 20th from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. each day.
This popular event will celebrate JPL's accomplishments with exhibits and demonstrations about the Laboratory's ongoing research and space exploration. Many of the Lab's scientists and engineers will be on hand to answer questions about how spacecraft are sent to other planets, how scientists utilize space technologies to explore Earth and how researchers are now searching for planets beyond the solar system. Visitors will see exhibits, displays, demonstrations and presentations about new technologies, solar system exploration, spacecraft communication and much more. The JPL Education Office will also be on display. Come by and say "hi."
Register now for the Dawn Launch Educator Conference
Cape Canaveral, Florida June 28th-June 30th
Visit Cape Canaveral, Florida, see the Dawn spacecraft launch, and discover a host of exciting educational activities to spark students' interest in space science. Conference participants receive a behind-the-scenes bus tour of Kennedy Space Center, engaging sessions featuring Dawn mission and science team members, a VIP launch pass, and more.
Interested educators must register by May 31st. Note: Foreign nationals must complete registration by May 11th. Space is limited. For more information about the conference and to register online, go to:
While the launch is scheduled for no earlier than June 30, there is always the chance that unforeseen conditions, such as weather, could affect the launch. The Educator Conference will proceed as scheduled on June 28th -30th regardless of any changes to the launch date.
Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch by investigating in detail two of the largest protoplanets remaining intact since their formation. Ceres and Vesta reside in the extensive zone between Mars and Jupiter together with many other smaller bodies, called the asteroid belt. Each has followed a very different evolutionary path constrained by the diversity of processes that operated during the first few million years of solar system evolution.
The Dawn spacecraft uses ion propulsion to get the additional velocity needed to reach Vesta once it leaves the Delta rocket. It also uses ion propulsion to spiral to lower altitudes on Vesta, to leave Vesta and cruise to Ceres and to spiral to a low altitude orbit at Ceres. Ion propulsion makes efficient use of the onboard fuel by accelerating it to a velocity ten times that of chemical rockets.