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January 9, 2013
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – On the ramp of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, Orbital Sciences’ L-1011 aircraft is ready for departure with NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, spacecraft and Pegasus XL rocket. The Pegasus is attached under the wing of 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 Oct. 19. The Pegasus rocket will be dropped from under the wing of the L-1011 over the Pacific Ocean to carry the spacecraft approximately 130 miles above Earth and place it in orbit. Photo credit: NASA/Randy Beaudoin, VAFB

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