NASA'a Dawn Spacecraft has taken off from the Kennedy Space Center - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

NASA'a Dawn Spacecraft has taken off from the Kennedy Space Center

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER - NASA's Dawn spacecraft is on its way to explore an asteroid belt and a dwarf planet.

The three-billion-mile trip began at Florida's Kennedy Space Center this morning with an on-time launch.

It's a double-feature space project that represents the first attempt ever to journey to a celestial body and orbit it, and then travel to another globe and orbit it, too.

Revolutionary ion-propulsion engines power Dawn, once just a dream of science fiction. They'll give the craft a gentle nudge at first and eventually accelerate it to phenomenal speeds.

If all goes as planned, Dawn will reach the asteroid, Vesta, in 2011 and the dwarf planet, Ceres, four years later, providing new information on the early solar system. The mission costs 357 million dollars.
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