Dawn is a NASA interplanetary mission of the Discovery class that was launched on Sep. 27, 2007 and that ended operations on Nov. 1, 2018 after two mission extensions.
The targets of the mission were the two most massive members of the Main Asteroid Belt, Ceres and Vesta. The two bodies are very diverse, with the first one containing volatiles and hydrated minerals, and the second one being a dry, thermally differentiated igneous body. The study of these bodies furthers our understanding of how the rocky planets and the icy bodies in the Solar System formed and evolved.
The DLR Institute of Planetary Research has contributed to the development and construction of the two Framing Cameras for the mission under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research. The Department Asteroids and Comets participated in the mission with a Co-Investigator.