This artist's concept shows NASA's Dawn spacecraft arriving at the dwarf planet Ceres, the most massive body in the asteroid belt. Dawn is the first mission to visit a dwarf planet -- a round body that orbits the sun but, unlike a planet, does not clear its orbital path of other objects.
Dawn's mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The University of California, Los Angeles, is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK, Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, the Italian Space Agency and the Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team. For a complete list of acknowledgments, http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission.