Mission Overview

Text Size

Dawn Artist's concept of Dawn. Image credit: JPL-Caltech
Launch Information:
Launch: September 27, 2007

Dawn, part of NASA's Discovery Program of competitively selected missions, was launched in 2007 to orbit the large asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. The two bodies have very different properties from each other. By observing them both with the same set of instruments, Dawn will probe the early solar system and specify the properties of each body.

Led by principal investigator Dr. Christopher T. Russell of UCLA, the project is managed by JPL. The spacecraft was built by Orbital Sciences Corp. and uses solar-electric ion propulsion.

Mission Details:
Purpose: Asteroid orbiter

Fast Facts:
Launch: September 27, 2007

Mission Links:
+ Dawn home page