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Vesta Astroid : US Spacecraft Orbits Vesta Astroid

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NASA's Dawn spacecraft illustration / Image credit: NASA/JPL

NASA’s Spacecraft Dawn has officially entered the orbit of one of Vesta.

“Today, we celebrate an incredible exploration milestone as a spacecraft enters orbit around an object in the main asteroid belt for the first time,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said on NASA.gov.

Dawn became the first probe ever to enter the orbit around an object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, according to NASA.

Vesta is one of the largest asteroids in the solar system and Dawn will orbit it and rely information back to scientists. Observations will provide data to help scientists understand the solar system better.

“Dawn’s study of the asteroid Vesta marks a major scientific accomplishment and also points the way to the future destinations where people will travel in the coming years,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said on NASA.gov.

Dawn launched in September 2007 and will now study the asteroid for a year. After Dawn finishes studying Vesta, it will head to Ceres, a dwarf planet. Dawn is on track to become the first spacecraft to orbit two solar system destinations beyond Earth.

 

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