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July 18, 2011

Spaceflight Now | Dawn Asteroid Explorer Moves Into Orbit At Vesta

by Stephen Clark, Spaceflight Now | July 18, 2011 7:15am

NASA’s robotic Dawn spacecraft drifted into orbit around Vesta on Saturday, starting a yearlong science campaign to map one of the solar system’s largest unexplored worlds sandwiched in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

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June 24, 2011

NASA | ‘Dawn’ Probe Nears Giant Asteroid for Year-Long Stay

by NASA | June 24, 2011 11:19am

PASADENA, Calif. – NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is on track to begin the first extended visit to a large asteroid. The mission expects to go into orbit around Vesta on July 16 and begin gathering science data in early August. Vesta resides in the main asteroid belt and is thought to be the source of a large number of meteorites that fall to Earth.

“The spacecraft is right on target,” said Robert Mase, Dawn project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “We look forward to exploring this unknown world during Dawn’s one-year stay in Vesta’s orbit.”

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