California, USA, 12 April 2006: NASA’s Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) and CloudSat satellites are set to launch aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket on Friday, April 21, from NASA’s Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The launch window is instantaneous. The CALIPSO satellite will separate from the Delta II at 62 minutes after liftoff, followed by CloudSat at 96 minutes after launch.
Together, CALIPSO and CloudSat will provide new perspectives on Earth’s clouds and aerosols, answering questions about how they form, evolve and affect water supply, climate, weather and air quality. They will be launched into an orbit where they will fly just 15 seconds apart as members of NASA’s “A-Train,” a constellation of several Earth-observing satellites.