The American space agency NASA is all set to position the Dawn spacecraft way closer to dwarf planet Ceres which is the largest rock in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The project got a kick start back in 2015 and Dawn arrived at Ceres making a series of orbits around it.
Moreover, NASA is further giving efforts to get an elliptical orbit which will be its closest approach only 120 miles above the surface. There are also reports that NASA is also trying to let the spacecraft orbit the dwarf planet permanently when its hydrazine fuel runs out.
Dawn spacecraft remaining at Ceres for the rest of its mission means more data gathering for the spacecraft with its gamma ray and neutron spectrometer looking at the surface of the celestial body to determine how much ice it contains.
"A priority of the second Ceres mission extension is collecting data with Dawn’s gamma ray and neutron spectrometer, which measures the number and energy of gamma rays and neutrons," NASA said in a statement while talking about their latest mission managed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
According to scientists, they are not planning to crash Dawn into the planet unlike most of their missions and the spacecraft will quite possibly continue to function until the second half of 2018.
NASA's principal aim behind launching the Dawn spacecraft was to study two protoplanets Vesta and Ceres. Dawn which is the only spacecraft to orbit two celestial objects was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the year 2007.