NASA launched a Taurus XL rocket at the Vandenberg Air Force Base this morning at 2:09 a.m.

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The Taurus XL carries NASA’s newest satellite, Glory, which is scheduled to be in orbit for up to five years.

This specific craft has launched 13 satellites in eight missions since 1994 and will place a new satellite, Glory, into orbit. The rocket is also carrying a secondary payload of small educational satellites for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Cal Poly’s satellites will provide atmospheric measurements including the size, distribution and effects of tiny aerosol particles in the atmosphere and the most accurate measurements of incoming sunlight to help scientists improve climate models.

NASA designed Glory to take more than 10,000 atmospheric measurements at 600,000 locations around the world and has scheduled to maintain its mission for up to five years.

—Staff Report