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Preparing for lift-off

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --  A  United Launch Alliance contractor teathers a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather satellite into position for lift and mate to Vanednberg's Delta II rocket. The rocket is scheduled to launch Feb. 4. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mark P. Mackley)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A United Launch Alliance contractor tethers a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather satellite into position for lift and mate to Vandenberg's Delta II rocket. The rocket is scheduled to launch Feb. 4. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark P. Mackley)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --  A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather satellite is raised into position for mate to Vandenberg's Delta II rocket. The rocket is scheduled to launch Feb. 4.

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather satellite is raised into position for mate to Vandenberg's Delta II rocket. The rocket is scheduled to launch Feb. 4.

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --  A "canned" National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather satellite is put into position for lift and mate to Vanednberg's Delta II rocket. The rocket is scheduled to launch Feb. 4. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mark P. Mackley)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A "canned" National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather satellite is put into position for lift and mate to Vandenberg's Delta II rocket. The rocket is scheduled to launch Feb. 4. (U.S. Air Force photo Mark P. Mackley)