The Centaur upper stage for the Atlas V rocket scheduled to launch NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is lifted into a vertical position at Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
SDO is the first space weather research network mission in NASA's Living With a Star Program. The spacecraft's long-term measurements will give solar scientists in-depth information about changes in the sun's magnetic field and insight into how they affect Earth. Liftoff on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V is scheduled for 10:53 a.m. EST on Feb. 3, 2010. For information on SDO, visit http://www.nasa.gov/sdo. Photo credit: NASA/Amanda Diller