Artist's concept of NASA's Dawn spacecraft. The giant asteroid Vesta, Dawn's next destination, is on the lower left. Another larger asteroid and Dawn's second destination, Ceres, is on the upper right.
The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, DC. It is a project of the Discovery Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. The University of California, Los Angeles, is home of the mission's principal investigator, Christopher Russell, and is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Other scientific partners include the Planetary Science Institute, Tuscon, Ariz.; Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany; German Aerospace Center Institute for Planetary Research, Berlin; Italian National Institute for Astrophysics, Rome; and the Italian Space Agency. Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., designed and built the Dawn spacecraft.