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NASA restores Dawn mission
Posted: Tue, Mar 28, 2006, 8:33 AM ET (1333 GMT)
Dawn spacecraft illustration (UCLA/W. Hartman) NASA has reversed its earlier cancellation of the Dawn mission to two main belt asteroids, citing renewed confidence in the project's ability to overcome technical obstacles. NASA had cancelled Dawn in early March after a lengthy review triggered by technical problems with the spacecraft and resulting cost increases. The decision created an outcry in the planetary science community, which lobbied for the mission. NASA then made the unusual step of reconsidering the mission, concluding Monday that the project had made "substantive progress" on its technical issues. Dawn is now scheduled for launch in 2007 on a mission to the main belt asteroids Ceres and Vesta. NASA officials did not specify how much additional money would be needed to complete the mission, and where the money would come from.
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