At Space Launch Complex 576-E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, NASA's Glory spacecraft, encapsulated in its protective fairing, is transferred into a temporary processing tent near the pad. There, it will then be joined with the Taurus XL rocket's third stage. The Orbital Sciences Corp. Taurus XL rocket will carry Glory into low Earth orbit.
Once Glory reaches orbit, it will collect data on the properties of aerosols and black carbon. It also will help scientists understand how the sun's irradiance affects Earth's climate. Launch is scheduled for 5:09 a.m. EST Feb. 23. For information, visit www.nasa.gov/glory. Photo credit: NASA/Jerry E. Clemens Jr., VAFB