Bad Astronomy

Dawn canceled

Both The Planetary Society blog and NASAWatch are reporting that the Dawn mission has been canceled. Late January, NASA postponed Dawn, but word is that it is now canceled. This happens less than a year from launch, and is presumably due to technical difficulties and cost overruns. Dawn was an ambitious space probe that would orbit both Ceres and Vesta, two large asteroids.

What I find difficult to write is that I watched the Congressional hearings for two hours this morning, whose very focus was on canceling science missions. And yet, during all that time, not once did Mary Cleave, NASA Associate Administrator of science, mention that within minutes of getting back to her office she was canceling a science mission.’