Inside the Astrotech processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, NASA's Glory spacecraft is transferring to a processing dolly. Next, technicians will take off Glory's protective covering before it is encapsulated in a protective payload fairing for flight. In early February, Glory is scheduled to be transported Space Launch Complex 576-E where it will be joined with the Taurus XL rocket, which is manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corp.
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/Ed Henry, VAFB