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NASA's Glory Satellite rescheduled for launch

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The launch of NASA's Glory spacecraft aboard an Orbital Sciences Taurus XL rocket has been rescheduled for Friday, March 4, subject to confirmation by the Western Range. Technical issues with ground support equipment associated with the Taurus XL that scrubbed the Feb. 23 launch attempt have been resolved.

Liftoff will be from Space Launch Complex 576E at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), Calif. Launch is targeted for 5:09:43 a.m. EST (2:09:43 a.m. PST) in the middle of a 48-second launch window. The spacecraft's final polar orbit will be 438 nautical miles (508 statute miles) at an inclination of 98.2 degrees.

Data from the Glory mission will allow scientists to better understand how the sun and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect Earth's climate. Both aerosols and solar energy influence the planet's energy budget, which is the amount of energy entering and exiting Earth's atmosphere. An accurate measurement of these impacts is important in order to anticipate future changes to our climate and how they may affect human life.

The first of NASA's Educational Launch of Nanosatellite, or ELaNa, missions also will be launched on the Taurus XL. These auxiliary payloads are small satellites called CubeSats. Each is designed and created by university and college students. Three satellites will be deployed on ELaNa-1.