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published by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
technical implementer: the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
This is the home page for NASA's Dawn project, whose goal was to shed light on the early evolution of our Solar System by investigating two large protoplanets, Ceres and Vesta, that have remained intact since their formations in the asteroid belt. Each followed a very different evolutionary path, but both were governed by interactions occurring during the first few million years of solar system evolution. The website provides a large array of resources for educators and learners from upper elementary grades through undergraduate education.

Please note that this resource requires Flash, or Java Applet Plug-in.
Editor's Note: Don't miss the links to the "Dawn Image of the Day", stories and games for elementary students, and interactive resources on ion propulsion engines - a newer technology for powering robotic space exploration.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Instrumentation
- Solar System
= Asteroids
- Space Exploration
= Robotic Exploration
Education Practices
- Technology
= Multimedia
- Geometrical Optics
= Optical Instruments
- High School
- Middle School
- Elementary School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Informal Education
- Upper Undergraduate
- Collection
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
- Dataset
- Audio/Visual
= Image/Image Set
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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General Public
Access Rights:
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© 2018 California Institute of Technology
JPL, Jet Propulsion Lab, asteroid belt, asteroid mapping, asteroids, exploration, ion engines, ion propulsion, missions, planets, robotic spacecraft, rovers, solar system, space exploration, space missions, spectrometry, virtual astronomy
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created November 2, 2012 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
November 12, 2021 by Lyle Barbato

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

3. The Nature of Technology

3A. Technology and Science
  • 3-5: 3A/E2. Technology enables scientists and others to observe things that are too small or too far away to be seen otherwise and to study the motion of objects that are moving very rapidly or are hardly moving at all.
  • 6-8: 3A/M2. Technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection and treatment, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information.
  • 9-12: 3A/H1. Technological problems and advances often create a demand for new scientific knowledge, and new technologies make it possible for scientists to extend their research in new ways or to undertake entirely new lines of research. The very availability of new technology itself often sparks scientific advances.
  • 9-12: 3A/H2. Mathematics, creativity, logic, and originality are all needed to improve technology.
  • 9-12: 3A/H3b. One way science affects society is by stimulating and satisfying people's curiosity and enlarging or challenging their views of what the world is like.
3B. Design and Systems
  • 6-8: 3B/M3d. In almost all modern machines, microprocessors serve as centers of performance control.
  • 9-12: 3B/H3. Complex systems have layers of controls. Some controls operate particular parts of the system and some control other controls. Even fully automatic systems require human control at some point.
3C. Issues in Technology
  • 6-8: 3C/M8. Scientific laws, engineering principles, properties of materials, and construction techniques must be taken into account in designing engineering solutions to problems.
  • 9-12: 3C/H6. The human ability to influence the course of history comes from its capacity for generating knowledge and developing new technologies—and for communicating ideas to others.

4. The Physical Setting

4A. The Universe
  • 6-8: 4A/M4. Many chunks of rock orbit the sun. Those that meet the earth glow and disintegrate from friction as they plunge through the atmosphere—and sometimes impact the ground. Other chunks of rock mixed with ice have long, off-center orbits that carry them close to the sun, where the sun's radiation (of light and particles) boils off frozen materials from their surfaces and pushes it into a long, illuminated tail.
  • 9-12: 4A/H3. Increasingly sophisticated technology is used to learn about the universe. Visual, radio, and X-ray telescopes collect information from across the entire spectrum of electromagnetic waves; computers handle data and complicated computations to interpret them; space probes send back data and materials from remote parts of the solar system; and accelerators give subatomic particles energies that simulate conditions in the stars and in the early history of the universe before stars formed.
  • 9-12: 4A/H6. Our solar system coalesced out of a giant cloud of gas and debris left in the wake of exploding stars about five billion years ago. Everything in and on the earth, including living organisms, is made of this material.

11. Common Themes

11C. Constancy and Change
  • 9-12: 11C/H8. Trends that follow a pattern that can be described mathematically can be used to estimate how long a process has been going on.
11D. Scale
  • 6-8: 11D/M3. Natural phenomena often involve sizes, durations, and speeds that are extremely small or extremely large. These phenomena may be difficult to appreciate because they involve magnitudes far outside human experience.
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
(National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, 2018), WWW Document, (https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/dawn/overview/).
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Dawn (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, 2018), <https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/dawn/overview/>.
APA Format
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Dawn. (2018). Retrieved May 27, 2024, from National Aeronautics and Space Administration: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/dawn/overview/
Chicago Format
Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Dawn. Washington: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2018. https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/dawn/overview/ (accessed 27 May 2024).
MLA Format
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Dawn. Washington: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2018. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 27 May 2024 <https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/dawn/overview/>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Dawn}, Publisher = {National Aeronautics and Space Administration}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {27 May 2024}, Year = {2018} }
Refer Export Format

%T NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Dawn %D 2018 %I National Aeronautics and Space Administration %C Washington %U https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/dawn/overview/ %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D 2018 %T NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Dawn %I National Aeronautics and Space Administration %V 2024 %N 27 May 2024 %9 text/html %U https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/dawn/overview/

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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