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November 13, 2012
(06/21/2007) --- KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, workers check the progress of the Dawn spacecraft being lowered toward the upper stage booster below. The two elements will be mated for launch. 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