Dawn's image of giant asteroid Vesta on July 9, 2011.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA.
On July 15, NASA's ion-propelled Dawn spacecraft will become the first mission to enter orbit around a main-belt asteroid. Dawn will orbit Vesta for one Earth-year, studying the giant space rock at close range to help scientists understand the earliest chapter of our solar system's history.(read more)