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NASA spacecraft beams back close-up images of asteroid

Published 12/21/2011

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been a fervent photographer, snapping more than 10,000 pictures of the asteroid Vesta since it slipped into orbit around the giant space rock last summer. The views were taken from a distance away — until now. The space agency released new images Wednesday of the hummocky surface as Dawn circled from an average altitude of 130 miles above the surface — the closest it'll get.

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