The Dawn mission was supposed to end after its rendezvous with Ceres, but now, reports say that the Dawn team has asked NASA to extend the mission to visit a third asteroid.

There’s only a small amount of propellant left, so there’s only a limited selection of possible destinations for Dawn at this point.

Dawn probe

Chris Russell, of the University of California, Los Angeles, is the principal investigator for the Dawn mission. He told New Scientist, “As long as the mission extension has not been approved by NASA, I’m not going to tell you which asteroid we plan to visit,” he says. “I hope a decision won’t take months.”

So I ask this question to the stackexchange community: can you make any educated guesses about this "third asteroid"?

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    $\begingroup$ This question seems answerable. We should be able to calculate what asteroids are in range of Dawn based on the remaining fuel. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 15:02
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    $\begingroup$ I believe it was recently decided that Dawn will not be traveling to any other asteroid. $\endgroup$
    – Phiteros
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


Dawn's potential target was asteroid 145 Adeona:

On April 20, 2016, New Scientist announced that the Dawn team had sent NASA a proposal for an extended mission. According to the report, the spacecraft retains enough xenon fuel to break Ceres orbit and reach a third asteroid.[123] In July 2016, NASA rejected the proposal because remaining in orbit around Ceres has the potential to provide more significant science discoveries than a flyby of 145 Adeona in May 2019.


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    $\begingroup$ Sounds like there wouldn't have been enough fuel to go into orbit around 145 Adeona, just a flyby. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 21:00

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