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Cloud Cameras Fly Aboard NASA's Glory Mission

Special Instruments Designed To Monitor Aerosols In The Atmosphere

Two cloud cameras built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. will fly aboard NASA's Glory climate-monitoring mission scheduled to launch this week from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. During the final 15 minutes before Wednesday's scheduled launch of 0509 EST, the vehicle interface control console, a ground interface with Orbital Sciences' Taurus XL rocket, gave an unexpected reading. The cause and potential effect of the reading was not fully understood. With a 48-second available launch window, there was insufficient time to analyze the issue causing the launch to be postponed. Members of the Taurus team are troubleshooting the issue.

The launch of NASA's Glory spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is currently planned for no earlier than Friday, Feb. 25, at 0509 EST. Engineers from NASA and Orbital Sciences Corp. continue to troubleshoot a technical issue that arose during Wednesday's initial launch attempt.

Ball Aerospace designed and built the semi-custom Glory cloud cameras for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center using standard CT-633 star tracker electronics and custom optics and software. The cloud cameras are mounted separately but will operate in conjunction with the Aerosol Polarimetry Sensor, which provides data on the properties of black carbon and other types of aerosols as well as clouds in the Earth's atmosphere.

The Glory cameras extend technologies first developed by Ball for the successful cloud camera flying onboard the Cloud-Aerosol LIDAR and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) mission launched in 2006. Once on orbit, Glory will join CALIPSO as part of NASA's A-train satellite formation of Earth-observation satellites.

The three-year Glory mission will contribute to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Program by studying the causes and consequences of global environmental changes as well as helping to determine how to predict these changes.

FMI: www.ballaerospace.com

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