Dawn Approaching Vesta
NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image on its approach to the protoplanet Vesta, the second-most massive object in the main asteroid belt. The image was obtained on June 20, 2011, when the approaching spacecraft was about 117,000 miles (189,000 kilometers) away from the body.
The Dawn mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., for the agency'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, Ala. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., designed and built the Dawn spacecraft. The framing cameras were developed and built under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin made significant contributions in coordination with the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering in Braunschweig. The framing camera project is funded by the Max Planck Society, DLR and NASA. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. For more information about Dawn, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/dawn and http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov .
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/PSI