July 24, 2013
At NASA Space Launch Complex 2 on Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the first half of the fairing for CALIPSO/CloudSat reaches the top of the mobile service tower, or gantry. The fairing encloses and protects the spacecraft during launch and flight through the atmosphere. Once in space, it is jettisoned. CALIPSO stands for Cloud-Aerosol Lidar & Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation. CALIPSO and CloudSat are highly complementary satellites and together will provide never-before-seen 3-D perspectives of how clouds and aerosols form, evolve, and affect weather and climate. CALIPSO and CloudSat will fly in formation with three other satellites in the A-train constellation to enhance understanding of our climate system. Launch of CALIPSO/CloudSat aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket is scheduled for 3:01 a.m. Sept. 29.
Topics: Earth, Spaceflight, Spacecraft, Disaster Accident, Environment, PARASOL, Calypso, Delta II, LIDAR, A-train, CloudSat, Environmental science, CALIPSO, French space program