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The first stage of the Atlas V rocket


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The first stage of the Atlas V rocket slated to launch NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, awaits processing in the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center hangar on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It was delivered on Oct. 27. SDO is the first space weather research network mission in NASA's Living With a Star Program. The spacecraft's long-term measurements will give solar scientists in-depth information about changes in the sun's magnetic field and insight into how they affect Earth. Liftoff on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V is scheduled for Feb. 3, 2010. For information on SDO, visit Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann

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