Presenting the Sun… in STEREO


NASA’s STEREO Mission is set to launch this evening at 8:53 PM EST and things seem to be going well, according to the mission website:

"The STEREO mission is about to begin. Safely installed atop a Boeing Delta II rocket, the twin spacecraft are ready for launch Wednesday at 8:38 p.m. EDT. The vehicle’s second stage was loaded with storable propellants on Monday. The launch weather forecast remains favorable, with virtually no concerns. High pressure behind a passing front has brought pleasant conditions for the next two days. There is still only a 5% chance of weather violating launch constraints, due to possible development of thick clouds."

The launch blog will start reporting the happenings starting two hours before the launch (around 7pm EST).

The STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) Mission, for those who don’t already know, intends to use stereoscopic 3D vision to construct a complete picture of a sun and the nature of solar flares. In addition to helping us know a great deal more about the world’s most important star, the mission should help us learn how we can best protect future astronauts from the dangerous effects of solar flares.