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November 13, 2012
(06/14/2007) --- KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On June 11, during a procedure to prepare the Dawn spacecraft for spin-balance testing, the back of a solar array panel was slightly damaged by a technician's tool. The size of the affected area is about 2.5 inches by 2 inches. The necessary minor repairs will be made during the coming weekend. There is no impact to the launch date of July 7. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch 4.5 billion years ago by investigating in detail two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. They reside between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt. Photo courtesy of Orbital Sciences