At Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, a Poly Picosatellite Orbital Deployer, or P-POD, container is imaged here after a sheet of thermal insulation has been applied and the bracket interface installed. The bracket will serve as a connection interface between the P-POD and the Taurus rocket. The P-POD will hold three CubeSats or tiny satellites, designed and created by university and college students that will be carried on the Taurus rocket along with the Glory spacecraft.
The Orbital Sciences Corp. Taurus XL rocket will carry NASA's Glory spacecraft 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/Randy Beaudoin, VAFB