Author's Archive: David Blewett

David Blewett
David Blewett
David T. Blewett, a member of the Senior Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory since 2007, was selected as a Dawn Participating Scientist in 2010. His planetary research emphasizes remote sensing and geological analysis using data from planetary spacecraft and Earth-based telescopes. Also a MESSENGER Participating Scientist, Dave has been a principal investigator in NASA’s Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program since 2002.
 

 

12 Jul
2013

A Dawn Participating Scientist’s Story

by David Blewett
 

It has been a tremendous privilege to be involved in the Dawn mission. I was invited to join the team in 2010, a member of the cadre of Participating Scientists NASA provided to help synthesize the fascinating data being returned from Vesta during the 14 months the spacecraft orbited the protoplanet in 2011 and 2012.

Vesta is an intermediate-sized solar system body, between larger planetary objects like the Moon, and small asteroids like those that have been visited by other spacecraft (Gaspra, Ida, Matilda, Lutetia, Eros, etc.). It orbits the Sun in the main asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter. For me, the most exciting results from the Vesta phase of the mission are: 1.  the general appearance of Vesta, and 2. findings related to one of my specific areas of research interest, Dawn’s investigation of the nature of surface modification on Vesta—or how the giant asteroid’s surface has changed over time.

Global mosaic of Vesta as taken by Dawn's Framing Camera

Global mosaic of Vesta as taken by Dawn’s Framing Camera

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