To help celebrate the start of the Dawn mission to Vesta, NASA is organizing a “Vesta Fiesta!” After traveling the solar system for nearly four years, the Dawn spacecraft is now entering the “science” phase of its mission. Given the fact that Dawn is the first spacecraft to orbit an object in the asteroid belt, a fiesta is in order! (Here in Arizona we relish ANY excuse to fiesta!) Between August 5 and August 7, 2011, Vesta Fiestas will be held to help celebrate Dawn’s arrival at Vesta.
NASA is encouraging fans of the Dawn mission to join the celebration by hosting events at local clubs, schools, museums or societies. NASA has also provided numerous resources that are free to use for Vesta Fiestas, including games and activities, media resources (invitations, audio files, observing info, etc.) and live video on August 6th from the “Flagship” celebration at JPL in Pasedena, California.
If you’d like to participate by hosting your own party, or to find a party in your area, visit this page on the Dawn website, or on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=225252850843508
You can also follow the Dawn mission on Twitter
After studying the asteroid Vesta, Dawn will continue on to study dwarf planet Ceres, also in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
To help encourage participation, I humbly offer my Spicy Fiesta Cheese Dip:
1lb sausage (breakfast or Italian)
1 block of Velveeta (cut into ~1 inch square cubes)
1 jar of your favorite salsa and (Optional) 1 small can (4oz?) of diced green chile peppers – Not Red Hot Chili Peppers! Flea, Chad and Anthony hate being diced.)
Procedure: Place 1/2 of the cubed Velveeta in a crock pot, set to “high”. Cook sausage and diced peppers completely in a skillet, add cooked sausage and peppers to the crock pot along with the salsa and remaining velveeta. Leave crock pot on “high” until all the Velveeta is melted, then set to “low” – stir often! Serve with tortilla chips and an ice cold drink of your choice.
If you’d like to learn more about the Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres, you can visit the Dawn website.