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November 13, 2012
(06/21/2007) --- KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, an overhead crane lifts the Dawn spacecraft from its stand to move it and mate it to the upper stage booster for launch. Dawn is scheduled to launch July 7 from Pad 17-B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch by investigating in detail the largest protoplanets that have remained intact since their formations: asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. They reside in the extensive zone between Mars and Jupiter together with many other smaller bodies, called the asteroid belt. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton

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