After four years sailing through space, the Dawn spacecraft was expected to slip into orbit late Friday around a giant asteroid to begin a yearlong investigation into the origins of the solar system. It is the first of two scheduled tour stops for the NASA probe that almost never made it to the launch pad. Because of its stunted growth, Vesta holds "a record of the earliest history of the solar system," said the mission's lead scientist Christopher Russell of the University of California, Los Angeles.
The submission's title is a nod to Isaac Asimov. Lets hope Dawn doesn't get marooned!"