The Delta II rocket carrying the STEREO spacecraft on top streaks through the smoke as it climbs to orbit. Liftoff from Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was at 8:52 p.m. EDT. STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory) is a two-year mission using two nearly identical observatories, one ahead of Earth in its orbit and the other trailing behind. The duo will provide 3-D measurements of the sun and its flow of energy, enabling scientists to study the nature of coronal mass ejections and why they happen. The ejections are a major source of the magnetic disruptions on Earth and are a key component of space weather. The disruptions can greatly effect satellite operations, communications, power systems, humans in space and global climate. Designed and built by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) , the STEREO mission is being managed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. APL will maintain command and control of the observatories throughout the mission, while NASA tracks and receives the data, determines the orbit of the satellites, and coordinates the science results.