The upper vehicle stack, consisting of the first, second and third stages, of the Taurus XL rocket is ready for processing in a temporary processing tent near the pad at Space Launch Complex 576-E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Orbital Sciences' Taurus XL is a four-stage rocket that will carry NASA's Glory spacecraft into low Earth orbit. To the left the tent is the launch pad, where Stage 0 and the Stage 0/1 interstage are poised for launch.
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/VAFB