Dawn Spacecraft Launch

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Rocket launching in Florida.

A Delta II-Heavy rocket propelled NASA's Dawn spacecraft into space on its journey to the asteroid belt in 2007. The Delta II was designed to boost medium-sized satellites and robotic explorers into space.

It took three stages and nine solid-fueled booster rockets to propel Dawn on its way. A 9.5-foot payload fairing protected the spacecraft from the heat and stresses of launch. It fell away from the spacecraft after the rocket reached the upper levels of the atmosphere.