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November 13, 2012
(06/21/2007) --- KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At Astrotech, workers secure the attachments of the Dawn spacecraft onto the upper stage booster. The two elements are being 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