IBEX Launch Preparations
Date: 30 Sep 2008
Workers at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., make adjustments before installing the fairing around NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, spacecraft.
The fairing is a molded structure that fits flush with the outside surface of the rocket and forms an aerodynamically smooth nose cone, protecting the spacecraft during launch and ascent. The IBEX satellite will make the first map of the boundary between the solar system and interstellar space. IBEX was launched aboard a Pegasus rocket dropped from under the wing of an L-1011 aircraft flying over the Pacific Ocean.
Image Credit: NASA/Randy Beaudoin, VAFB