The Dawn spacecraft is slated to leave Vesta on the night of Sept. 4 (early morning Sept. 5 EDT), ending a 14-month stay at the 330-mile-wide (530 kilometers) body. The journey to Ceres should take roughly 2.5 years, with Dawn reaching the dwarf planet in early 2015, researchers said.
"Thrust is engaged, and we are now climbing away from Vesta atop a blue-green pillar of xenon ions," Dawn chief engineer and mission director Marc Rayman, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement. "We are feeling somewhat wistful about concluding a fantastically productive and exciting exploration of Vesta, but now have our sights set on dwarf planet Ceres.""
Link to Original Source