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January 8, 2013
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Avionics shelf flatness and fillet gap measurements are conducted on the wing of a Pegasus rocket in Building 1555 at Vandenberg AFB. The testing was performed by workers from Advanced Digital Measuring Works using an API laser tracker. The Pegasus will launch NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer Mission, or IBEX, satellite from Kwajalein Island in the Marshall Islands, South Pacific. IBEX will make the first map of the boundary between the solar system and interstellar space. IBEX is the first mission designed to detect the edge of the solar system. As the solar wind from the sun flows out beyond Pluto, it collides with the material between the stars, forming a shock front. IBEX contains two neutral atom imagers designed to detect particles from the termination shock at the boundary between the solar system and interstellar space. IBEX also will study galactic cosmic rays, energetic particles from beyond the solar system that pose a health and safety hazard for humans exploring beyond Earth orbit. IBEX will make these observations from a highly elliptical orbit that takes it beyond the interference of the Earth's magnetosphere. IBEX is targeted for launch in October 2008. Photo credit: NASA/Randy Beaudoin

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