A solid rocket rocket motor is maneuvered toward the open high bay door of the Solid Rocket Motor Processing Facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The motor will be attached to the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket slated to launch NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2, spacecraft in July 2014.
OCO-2 will collect precise global measurements of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. Scientists will analyze this data to improve our understanding of the natural processes and human activities that regulate the abundance and distribution of this important atmospheric gas.
Photo credit: NASA/Randy Beaudoin