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November 13, 2012
(07/01/2007) --- KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- NASA's Dawn spacecraft waits for fairing encapsulation in the mobile service tower of Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The fairing is a molded structure that fits flush with the outside surface of the Delta II upper stage booster and forms an aerodynamically smooth nose cone, protecting the spacecraft during launch and ascent. 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. Launch is scheduled for July 8. Photo credit: NASA/Amanda Diller

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