Historic Space Mission Enters Dwarf Planet’s Orbit

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

(MEDIA GENERAL) – NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will be the first mission to successfully visit a dwarf planet when it enters into orbit around Ceres on Friday.

“Dawn is about to make history,” said Robert Mase, project manager for the Dawn mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Dawn has already delivered images and video of Ceres as it approaches the dwarf planet. The images show craters and unusual bright spots. Ceres is the first object discovered in our solar system’s asteroid belt. Scientists hope to discover if the features of the planet are changing.

Secrets discovered in the exploration of Ceres could help scientists understand more about how our solar system was created. Ceres was designated a dwarf planet in 2006 along with Pluto and Eris.

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