My sad desktop background

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

This is my sad desktop background, unchanged since early May.

That's Dawn's first image of Vesta, taken on 3 May and released a week later. The image was taken at a distance of 1.3 million km. The team announced that image resolution would improve rapidly in a short period of time, and I was all ready to see new images released each week or so:
To help target the probe for survey orbit, controllers have commanded it to observe Vesta once a week since the beginning of the approach phase on May 3. As we saw that day, the pictures allow navigators to gain a better fix on Dawn's trajectory relative to Vesta.
Once a week since the approach phase began means images taken on the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st, and again tomorrow. Dawn is now just 380,000 km away (3.5 times closer), and still nothing since that one image taken on May 3rd. Okay, we'll just keep waiting and maybe they'll give us another single image in a week or two. Whee.

Dawn's team needs to learn a thing or two from JAXA. Here how PR is really done:


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