It is the first ion propulsion spacecraft of mankind, which has been in space for 11 years and has made great contributions

There are eight planets in the solar system, of which the earth is the only intelligent civilization planet. The earth is different because of human beings, and the solar system is tall because of human beings. Before human beings go out of the earth, they are full of illusions about the starry sky. When human beings go out of the earth, this kind of illusions expand even more. When we realize the vastness and mystery of the universe, we stimulate the enthusiasm of human beings to explore the universe.

The first stop for human beings to explore the universe is the solar system. Due to the limitation of human science and technology, for a long time in the future, we can only explore in the solar system, and spaceships and detectors can not get out of the solar system. Although Voyager 1 has been sailing for more than 40 years and is the farthest spaceship for human beings, it will take tens of thousands of years to get out of the solar system at the speed of spaceships It’s only possible on the Internet.

Speed limits the pace of our exploration of the universe. At the speed of human spaceships, we can only explore within the solar system. In addition to several major planets, there are several mysterious areas in the solar system that scientists are very interested in. One is the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, one is the Kuiper belt at the edge of the solar system, and the other is the outermost Oort nebula.

There are a large number of asteroids in these three mysterious regions, and the study of asteroids is very important for the future of mankind. We all know that the earth’s resources are limited. With the rapid development of human science and technology, the demand for resources is growing, and the earth’s resources have been unable to meet the rapid development of mankind. At this time, if human beings want to survive, they must go to space to find resources, and the universe is vast, and the resources are infinite.

What is the most valuable resource of the solar system? It must be an asteroid. There are abundant mineral resources on the asteroid. As long as human beings can exploit it, we will not worry about resources any more. Moreover, the number of asteroids in the solar system is too large to be estimated. A Kuiper belt around the solar system has enough asteroids for human development for countless years. Of course, with the current human science and technology, we can not go deep into the Kuiper belt. We can only explore the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter first, and there are a lot of asteroids here.

In order to explore the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, scientists launched the Dawn spacecraft on September 27, 2007. Its mission is to go to the asteroid belt to complete a series of exploration and Research on Ceres and Sheshen. Dawn is also the first spacecraft equipped with ion thrusters in human history. Up to now, the total distance of Dawn spacecraft’s 11 years of space travel is about 6.9 billion kilometers. The space flight along the way has achieved many firsts in human history, revealing many incredible images of Ceres and Vesta to mankind.

There are four mysterious asteroids in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. They are Ceres, Perseus, Venus and Vesta. They are known as the “four King Kong” by scientists. Among them, Ceres and Vesta not only contain rocks and water, but also preserve the early materials of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago. By studying these two asteroids, we can have a better understanding of the formation of the early solar system.

Through the exploration of Vesta by Dawn spacecraft, it is found that an asteroid with a diameter of only 500 km actually has a metal core with a diameter of 220 km, which is very rare. Scientists believe that the early Vesta may also be a big planet, but it is not in a good position, in the gravitational range of Jupiter, a lot of its material is pulled by Jupiter’s gravity and lost, leaving only 500 kilometers in diameter, and most of it is a metal core.

Such an asteroid is a very good research object for human beings. It is also an important resource mining star for human beings in the future. An asteroid whose core has been exposed has great value. However, with the current human space technology, we can not mine the asteroid. However, now the asteroid exploration work has begun, and we have a general understanding of the asteroids in the solar system. In the future, once mankind has the asteroid mining technology, these asteroids will be important resources for human development.

Although the Dawn spacecraft is an ion thruster, its fuel has been exhausted. On November 1, 2018, NASA announced the end of the 11 year long exploration mission of the Dawn spacecraft. The spacecraft will remain in the asteroid belt forever and become a man-made asteroid in the asteroid belt. Although it has stopped working, human beings will not forget its great contribution to human space development.

In the future, there will be more spacecraft to explore the asteroid belt. At present, there are spacecraft in the Kuiper belt for exploration and research. A large amount of information and data will continue to be sent back to the earth, and human understanding and exploration of the solar system are also deepening. This is the first step for human beings to explore the universe. Only when the resources of the solar system can be fully utilized can we hope to go out of the solar system and explore other galaxies.

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