Saturday, January 31, 2015

NASA Delta II Launch of SMAP

The Delta II rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), satellite on a mission to measure and map the Earth's soil moisture distribution and freeze/thaw state with unprecedented accuracy. Liftoff was at 6:22 a.m. PST (9:22 a.m. EST).

The unfolded solar arrays to power SMAP and the golden feedhorn for its radar and radiometer are visible in this image taken during assembly and testing.

Credit: NASA, JPL.

In orbit graphic of SMAP satellite prior to third stage burn for orbit insertion and booster decoupling.

Credit: NASA,

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