Dawn spacecraft at Ceres, artwork

Dawn spacecraft at Ceres, artwork

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Credit: WALTER MYERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dawn spacecraft at Ceres, artwork. The dwarf planet Ceres is rendered heavily cratered with surface water ice and hypothesized plumes of ice crystals from water geysers. Dawn is a robotic space probe designed to travel to the asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter) and study the minor planet Ceres and the asteroid Vesta (not seen), the two largest bodies in the asteroid belt. These two bodies will be studied to answer questions about their composition and formation, and the early history of the solar system. Dawn was launched on 27 September 2007. It arrived at Vesta in July 2011, and is scheduled to reach Ceres in March 2015.

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Keywords: aerospace, artwork, asteroid belt, asteroids, astronautical engineering, astronautics, beo, beyond earth orbit, dawn space probe, deep space, dwarf planet ceres, illustration, ion drive, main belt, nasa, nstar ion engine, small solar system body, space craft, space exploration, space flight, space probe, space ships, space technology, spacecraft, spaceships, unmanned

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