Washington, Jan 21 (ANI): NASA is all set to launch its newest Earth-observing research mission.
The Glory mission will improve our understanding of how the sun and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect Earth's climate. Glory also will extend a legacy of long-term solar measurements needed to address key uncertainties about climate change.
Glory is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Feb. 23 at 5:09 a.m. EST. It will join a fleet called the Afternoon Constellation or "A-train" of satellites. This group of other Earth-observing satellites, including NASA's Aqua and Aura spacecraft, flies in tight formation.
"Glory is going to help scientists tackle one of the major uncertainties in climate change predictions identified by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: the influence of aerosols on the energy balance of our planet," said Michael Freilich, director of NASA's Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington.
Originally confirmed in 2005, Glory has been developed by a team of engineers and scientists at several government, industry and academic institutions across the country. The Glory spacecraft arrived at Vandenberg on Jan. 11 after a cross-country road trip from Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Va.
Glory will fly in a low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 438 miles, about the distance from Boston to Washington. After launch, mission operators will conduct verification tests for 30 days and then begin to collect data for at least three years. (ANI)