As the sun goes down over Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the Orbital Sciences Taurus XL rocket and NASA's encapsulated Glory spacecraft await an early morning launch on the pad at Space Launch Complex 576-E. Liftoff originally was scheduled for 5:09 a.m. EST Feb. 23, but was scrubbed for at least 24 hours due to a technical issue that engineers are evaluating.
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. For information, visit www.nasa.gov/glory. Photo credit: NASA/Randy Beaudoin, VAFB