At Space Launch Complex 576-E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, workers unlatch the crane's guide wires from the Stage 0/1 interstage, part of the four-stage Taurus XL rocket that will carry NASA's Glory spacecraft into low Earth orbit, after it was lowered into launch position.
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