Gallery: Dawn spacecraft nears giant asteroid
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ntNASA expects that its Dawn spacecraft will enter orbit on July 15 around the asteroid Vesta which lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Dawn will study the giant asteroid for about a year from a distance expected to be around 9,900 miles before it moves on to the dwarf planet Ceres.
ntHere is a recent photo from Dawn, taken on July 9 from about 26,000 miles. Each pixel represents about 2.4 miles.
ntImage credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
ntHere’s how Dawn looked in NASA’s “clean room” as it was being prepared for launch.
A Delta II rocket sent Dawn on its journey on Sept. 27, 2007, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
This artist’s conception shows what Dawn would look like as it moves between its two targets, Vesta and Ceres.
ntThis what was Vesta looked like from the Dawn spacecraft from about 62,000 miles on July 1.
This image of Vesta was taken from about 95,000 miles on June 24.