Inside the Astrotech payload processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, NASA's Glory spacecraft is revealed after technicians removed the protective covering surrounding it. Next, the spacecraft will be encapsulated in its protective payload fairing before it is transported to Space Launch Complex 576-E and joined with the Taurus XL rocket's third stage.
The Orbital Sciences Corp. Taurus XL rocket will carry Glory into low Earth orbit. Once the spacecraft 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/Don Kososka, VAFB