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Preparing Solar Satellite for Launch
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Preparing Solar Satellite for Launch

June 4, 2013
VANDENBERG AFB, Calif. – Technicians work on the payload fairing that will protect NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft during launch aboard an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL rocket. Launch is currently scheduled no earlier than May 28, 2013. The IRIS satellite will improve our understanding of how heat and energy move through the deepest levels of the sun's atmosphere, thereby increasing our ability to forecast space weather. On launch day, deployment of the Pegasus from Orbital’s L-1011 carrier aircraft will occur at a location over the Pacific Ocean about 100 miles northwest of Vandenberg off the central coast of California south of Big Sur. Image Credit: VAFB/Randy Beaudoin