A worker is seen preparing the launch gantry to be rolled back from the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket with the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory onboard, at the Space Launch Complex 2, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Now scheduled to launch early Friday morning, SMAP is NASA?s first Earth-observing satellite designed to collect global observations of surface soil moisture and its freeze/thaw state. SMAP will provide high resolution global measurements of soil moisture from space. The data will be used to enhance scientists' understanding of the processes that link Earth's water, energy, and carbon cycles.
Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls...
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Live Space Station Views
Live Space Station Video includes internal views from cameras in the International Space Station's Destiny Laboratory and Harmony module when the resident astronauts are on duty. Earth views from external cameras on the stationâ€™s structure will be available during crew off-duty periods.
The video will be accompanied by live audio of conversations between the crew and the Mission Control network.
Television from the station is available only when the complex is in contact with the ground through its high-speed communications antenna and NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System. During "loss of signal" periods, Internet viewers may see a test pattern or a graphical world map that depicts the stationâ€™s location in orbit above the Earth using real-time telemetry sent to Mission Control from the station.
Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it sees a sunrise or a sunset every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but also may provide spectacular views of city lights below.