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January 8, 2013
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, spacecraft is driven from the Astrotech building in an environmentally controlled container to Hangar 1555 on Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. In the hangar, IBEX will be mated with the Pegasus XL rocket for launch. The IBEX satellite will make the first map of the boundary between the Solar System and interstellar space. IBEX is targeted for launch from the Kwajalein Atoll, a part of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean, on Oct. 19 aboard the Pegasus rocket dropped from under the wing of an L-1011 aircraft flying over the Pacific Ocean. The Pegasus will carry the spacecraft approximately 130 miles above Earth and place it in orbit. Photo credit: NASA/Dan Liberotti, VAFB