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• Launch date: 27  September 2007

• Orbital insertion: NA

• End of mission: 30 October 2018

• Agency: NASA

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Having explored the giant asteroid Vesta and on its way to the dwarf planet Ceres, the Dawn spacecraft is designed to conduct an in-depth and up-close study of these two celestial bodies believed to have formed early in the history of the solar system.

During its mission, Dawn will characterize the early solar system and the processes that shaped its formation. Data returned from the Dawn spacecraft could provide opportunities for significant breakthroughs in our knowledge of how the solar system formed