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Satellites are used for a large number of purposes. Common types include military (spy) and civilian Earth observation satellites, communication satellites, navigation satellites, weather satellites, and research satellites.

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NASA Probe Sees Solar Wind Decline

The 33-year odyssey of NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has reached a distant point at the edge of our solar system where there is no outward motion of solar wind. Now hurtling toward interstellar space some 17.4 billion...

Super-Earth Atmosphere

A team of astronomers, including two NASA Sagan Fellows, has made the first characterizations of a super-Earth's atmosphere, by using a ground-based telescope...

Kepler Discovers

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered the first confirmed planetary system with more than one planet crossing in front of, or transiting, the same star...

Pulverized Planet

Tight double-star systems might not be the best places for life to spring up, according to a new study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope....

Dark Asteroids

NASA is set to launch a sensitive new infrared telescope to seek out sneaky things in the night sky -- among them, dark asteroids that could pose a threat to Earth....

Both the Glory spacecraft and Taurus XL rocket are ready for launch tomorrow morning at 2:09:43 a.m. PST/5:09:43 a.m. EST. The weather forecast is 100 percent "go" with the possibility of some fog and a low ceiling not expected to be an issue. The call to stations for the launch team is 10:20 p.m. PST/1:20 a.m. EST.

The liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is targeted for the middle of a 48-second launch window. Spacecraft separation will occur 13 minutes after launch. Coverage of the countdown on the Glory launch blog and on NASA TV will begin on launch day at 3:30 a.m. EST. Technical issues with ground support equipment for the Taurus XL launch vehicle led to the scrub of the first launch attempt on Feb. 23.

Data from the Glory mission will allow scientists to better understand how the sun and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect Earth's climate. Both aerosols and solar energy influence the planet's energy budget -- the amount of energy entering and exiting Earth's atmosphere. An accurate measurement of these impacts is important in order to anticipate future changes to our climate and how they may affect human life.

Project management for Glory is the responsibility of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., is the launch service provider to Kennedy of the four-stage Taurus XL rocket and is also builder of the Glory satellite for Goddard.

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