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KSC-08PD-3076

January 9, 2013
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – On the runway of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, Orbital Sciences’ L-1011 aircraft waits for the arrival of NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, spacecraft and Pegasus XL rocket. The Pegasus will be attached to the aircraft 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/Randy Beaudoin, VAFB