At Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the sun sets over Space Launch Complex 576-E where technicians continue the process of joining NASA's Glory spacecraft with the Taurus XL rocket's third stage, housed inside a temporary processing tent near the pad.
The Orbital Sciences Corp. Taurus XL rocket will carry Glory into low Earth orbit. 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/Randy Beaudoin, VAFB