Dawn continues to close in on Mars, ready for the gravitational slingshot that will help it on its expedition to the asteroid belt and its quest to gain insights into the evolution of the solar system.
Dawn continues on course for its pas de deux with Mars on February 17. The planet's gravity will gracefully assist the spacecraft on its way to rendezvous with its intended celestial partners Vesta and Ceres in the more distant asteroid belt.
On the first anniversary of its departure from Earth, Dawn continues with what it has been doing for most of its time in space. With the greatest patience, it is gently reshaping its orbit around the Sun with its ion propulsion system.