MAR 06, 2015 12:36 PM PST

Dawn Arrives

NASA engineers said Friday they are "exhilarated" by the final maneuver in a 7 1/2 year "celestial dance" that put the spacecraft Dawn into orbit around the mini-planet Ceres 310 million miles from Earth.
NASA's artist image shows the Dawn probe orbiting the asteroid Vesta en route to Ceres orbit
The spacecraft, trailing a beam of blue-green vapor behind it, was captured by the dwarf planet's gravity at about 4:39 a.m. EST.

"This beautifully choreographed celestial dance is now a pas de deux," said Marc Rayman, Dawn's chief engineer and mission director at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., in his Dawn Blog

Source: USA Today
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