Updated: Mar 17, 2019
Dawn was the first spacecraft to orbit two worlds in one mission. Dawn had recently missed two check-ins with NASA on October 31 and November 1. Dawn’s silence most likely means that the probe had run out of the fuel that powers the thrusters that helps Dawn point its solar panels towards the sun. Dawn was previously on a two and half year long journey to the largest object between Mars and Jupiter, a dwarf planet Ceres. The dwarf planet appeared to have been shaped by water with signs of a possible underground ocean, homegrown organic compounds, and slouching volcanos. Because of the signs of possible life survival on Ceres, NASA will be keeping the probe in orbit for decades to come.
Dawn’s last picture was of Ceres’ surface capturing Occator crater which included bright spots that reflect salt deposits. (See picture below)