A Tiny Man-Made Probe Is Orbiting a Massive Asteroid 117 Million Miles from Earth

Illustration for article titled A Tiny Man-Made Probe Is Orbiting a Massive Asteroid 117 Million Miles from Earth

History, made: The unmanned Dawn spacecraft has successfully entered orbit around Vesta, a massive asteroid some 117 million miles from our planet. This is the first spacecraft to orbit and object in our solar system's asteroid belt. [MSNBC]

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callen3434-old
callen3434

The technology across space and beyond any other technology is just mind-boggling, at least to me. I honestly and truly say that my hat is off to the team that did this. Well done! My only reservation is, What is the benefit to mankind? What do we really hope to learn that is factual aside from one data point out of 10 to the 10th other asteroids? That is, as a lifetime scientist and engineer, I just have to wonder what we can actually conclude from this singular yet extraordinary feat. It is only one of one. Science 101 says that 1 of 1 is not statistically significant.