Dawn orbited the protoplanet Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres as part of its mission to characterize the conditions and processes that shaped our solar system.Visit Mission Website
Sept. 27, 2007
Dawn orbited the protoplanet Vesta and is now in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres as part of its mission to characterize the conditions and processes that shaped our solar system. Vesta and Ceres are the two most massive bodies in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. By studying these two giant remnants from the epoch of planet formation, Dawn will provide scientists with new knowledge of how the solar system formed and evolved.
Thanks to its ion propulsion system, Dawn is the only spacecraft ever to have the capability to orbit two extraterrestrial destinations.
Dawn's science investigations at Vesta result in a number of findings about the protoplanet:
Feb. 17, 2009
July 15, 2011
Sept. 4, 2012
March 6, 2015
Sept. 27, 2017
Nov. 1, 2018