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MISSION

Mission Overview
Welcome to the Dawn Mission!

Dawn delves into the unknown, drives new technology innovations, and achieves what's never been attempted before. As a mission belonging to NASA’s Discovery Program, Dawn has orbited one member of the main asteroid belt, Vesta, and is now heading to explore a second new world, dwarf planet Ceres.

Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of its earliest history by investigating in detail two of the largest protoplanets remaining intact since their formation. Ceres and Vesta reside in the main asteroid belt, the extensive region between Mars and Jupiter, along with many other smaller bodies. Each followed a very different evolutionary path, constrained by the diversity of processes that operated during the first few million years of solar system evolution. When Dawn visits Ceres and Vesta, the spacecraft steps us back in solar system time.

Key Destinations
Artisit rendering of Dawn spacecraft leaving Earth's orbit
    Artisit rendering of Vesta
    Artisit rendering of impact with asteroid
    Artisit rendering of Dawn spacecraft leaving Earth's orbit
Overview
- Objectives
- Mission Status
    All About Dawn
- Dawn Journal
- Dawn Science Blog
- Dawn E-News Archive
    Where We Started
- Solar System History
- Timeline & Trajectory
- Launch
    Just the Facts
- FAQs
- Dawn Fact Sheet