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Apparatus for the study of asteroids set a record on an acceleration.. / June 9, 2010 /

The apparatus for the study of the main belt asteroids Dawn set a record on a set speed. His ion engines provided a velocity increment at 4.3 kilometers per second, according to a press release, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA. Now the speed of the probe is more than 15 kilometers per second.

Three motor vehicle do not work constantly, and include a short while at certain moments of flight. So far they have worked a total of 620 days and spent over 165 kilograms of xenon. By the end of the eight-year mission, Dawn (although experts are not preclude its extension) the total time of the engines is 2000 days — almost 5,5 years. The total velocity increment to reach 38,620 kilometers per hour.

Since outer space is no air, disperse, the device continues to move with speed dial. On earth, this is not possible because of slowing during sliding. Using the ion engine has allowed scientists to make the process of gradual increase in velocity as efficient as possible. Ion engines speeding vehicle emissions by xenon ions or other inert gas dispersed in an electrostatic field. The rate of departure of ionized gas from the nozzle can not exceed two hundred kilometers per second, while the rocket engines that figure is only 4.5 km per second. Accordingly, compared with rocket engines, the ion is very economical.

Office of Dawn was launched in 2007. Its main objectives are dwarf planet Ceres and the asteroid 4 Vesta, located in the main asteroid belt. In the November 2009 apparatus entered the preset orbit around the Sun.

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