Discovery, Glory and X-37B Set for Launch

We’ve got a busy couple of weeks ahead in terms of American launches. The schedule:

Glory
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 23
Time: 5:09 a.m. EST
Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Coverage: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv (3:30 a.m. EST start)

NASA’s 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 – the amount of energy entering and exiting Earth’s atmosphere. An accurate measurement of these impacts is important to anticipate future changes to our climate.

NASA TV coverage will begin at 3:30 a.m. EST (12:30 a.m. PST) at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv. Liftoff is targeted for 5:09:43 a.m. EST (2:09:43 a.m. PST). Spacecraft separation from the Taurus XL rocket occurs 13 minutes after launch.

Space Shuttle Discovery
Date: Thursday, Feb. 24
Time: 4:50 p.m. EST
Location: Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Coverage: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

The much-delayed Discovery mission will finally get off the ground. The six-member crew will deliver and equipment and supplies to the International Space Station, including a Robonaut. This is the next-to-last mission or next-to-next-to-last mission for the 30-year old space shuttle program.

X-37B
Date: Friday, March 4
Location: Cape Canaveral, Fla.

The U.S. Air Force’s mysterious space plane will lift off its second classified mission aboard an Atlas 5 rocket. The same vehicle completed a 225-day flight last year before touching down at Vandenberg Air Force Base.