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NASA's Dawn Mission Finally Runs Out Of Fuel

The probe was launched 11 years ago to explore two major objects in the asteroid belt.
Posted at 9:58 PM, Nov 01, 2018

NASA's Dawn mission has come to an end, 11 years after it first set off to explore the asteroid belt. 

NASA announced Thursday that after Dawn missed a regular check-in with the agency's Deep Space Network antennas, a flight team determined the probe had run out of fuel.  

Dawn launched in 2007 to explore Ceres and Vesta, two major bodies in the solar system's asteroid belt. It first arrived and orbited Vesta in 2011 before moving on to Ceres, which it reached in 2015.  

While the probe was solar powered, it relied on a fuel called hydrazine to turn its panels towards the sun as well as to direct itself. 

According to the agency, Dawn will continue to circle Ceres for at least another 20 years before it falls out of orbit.