The primary instruments at this level will be the gamma ray and neutron detector (GRaND) and the gravity experiment. Currently, scientists expect Dawn to spend ten (10) weeks at this altitude. The objective is to determine the kinds of material (atoms) on the surface of Vesta and measure the gravitational field of the asteroid. Scientists want to determine the distribution of masses within Vesta.
Marc Rayman, Dawn’s chief engineer and mission manager based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California noted:
After this data collection period, Dawn will spiral outward to a new orbit around 680 kilometers above the surface for another high altitude mapping campaign. The Sun will then be higher in the northern regions of Vesta fir better imaging.