Why Asteroids?

Asteroids hold clues about the origins of the solar system and the evolution of life on our home planet. 

Travel Time

Researchers estimate a trip to a near-Earth asteroid and back to Earth will take five to six months.

Recent News

Follow NASA's Dawn Mission on Twitter

Q: How high & wide is this mountain on #Ceres? A: Estimates are about 3 mi (5 km) high and 10 mi (20 km) wide

Tonight I will power on my ion propulsion system to begin descending to my third mapping orbit! #Ceres

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Did You Know?

How many near Earth asteroids have been discovered so far?


11,054 (subject to change). The first asteroid, Ceres, was discovered in 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi. To date, researchers have identified over 90% of near Earth 1km or larger objects—a body with a diameter between 0.5 and 5km would cause catastrophic damage if on a collision course with Earth.

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