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Dawn arrives at dwarf planet Ceres, a first for NASA
Dawn arrives at dwarf planet Ceres, a first for NASA

Dawn has arrived. The signal was received at 5:36 a.m. PST Friday: NASA's Dawn spacecraft had successfully entered into orbit around Ceres, becoming the first NASA mission to visit a dwarf planet, and the first to go to two distinct bodies in the solar system.  Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and the final stop on Dawn's journey in the solar system. The 4.5-foot-long spacecraft blasted off from Earth in 2007 and spent 14 months exploring the mega-asteroid Vesta in 2011 and 2012. It is scheduled to stay at Ceres through June 2016. The science phase of Dawn's Ceres mission won't officially get underway for a few more weeks,...

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