USA: the study of an asteroid begins

PASADENA, U.S. –On Monday NASA reported that the Dawn spacecraft was about to examine the huge asteroid Vesta, after being captured in its orbit over the weekend.

The laboratory space agency, Jet Propulsion, said the capture would have occurred around 22 pm on Friday, when Dawn was 15 930 km of Vesta and 188 million kilometers from Earth, in the main belt of the asteroid between Mars and Jupiter.

The principal investigator of the mission, Christopher Russell, said this marked the beginning of research on an original surface that would be the oldest in the solar system to be always present.

The spacecraft will collect data on Vesta for a year, after which it will head the largest object in the asteroid belt, the “dwarf planet” Ceres. This project should begin in February 2015.

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