Last update: November 16th, 2019 at 11:00 am
Inside the Astrotech Payload Processing Facility on Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, workers attach an overhead crane to the CALIPSO spacecraft. CALIPSO will be lifted and attached to the upper Delta Payload Attach Fitting (UDPAF). Later the UDPAF will be mated with the lower Delta Payload Attach Fitting, which contains the CloudSat satellite. The PAF is the interface between the spacecraft and the second stage of the rocket. CALIPSO stands for Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation. CALIPSO and CloudSat are highly complementary satellites that will provide never-before-seen 3-D perspectives of how clouds and aerosols form, evolve, and affect weather and climate. CALIPSO and CloudSat will fly in formation with three other satellites in the A-train constellation to enhance understanding of our climate system. Launch of CALIPSO/CloudSat aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket is scheduled for 3:01 a.m. PDT Sept. 29.