Insights · May 13th, 2012

You will recall the recent announcement of an asteroid mining venture. Now you can come along with me and visit the asteroid Vesta, courtesy of a flyby generated by JPL. Their Dawn spacecraft is currently exploring the very large asteroid Vesta, before heading off to examine a second, Ceres.

Ceres and Vesta reside in the extensive zone between Mars and Jupiter together with many other smaller bodies, called the asteroid belt. Vesta is a very large asteroid resembling a small plant or moon more than we might imagine when we think “asteroid.” Dawn arrived at Vesta back in July 2011, and will continue to orbit Vesta collecting data until August 2012, when the craft will head for Ceres. You can learn much more about the mission at JPL Dawn Mission.

For now, let’s ride aboard NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on a virtual flyover of giant asteroid Vesta. Mission data was used to create the topography you see. Waypoints include: Divialia Fossa; Marcia crater, part of the “snowman” feature; and Aricia Tholus.

Glen Hiemstra is a futurist, author, speaker, consultant, Founder of, and founder and Curator of To arrange for a speech, workshop or consultation contact


Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA, and has worked with over 300 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

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