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Nasa's Dawn Spacecraft Begins Science Orbits of Vesta

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Asteroid Vesta

NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image of the giant asteroid Vesta with its framing camera on July 24, 2011.

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

NASA's Dawn spacecraft, the first ever to orbit an object in the main asteroid belt, is spiraling toward its first of four intensive science orbits. That initial orbit of the rocky world Vesta begins Aug. 11, at an altitude of nearly 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) and will provide in-depth analysis of the asteroid.

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