The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission is one step closer to launch. On January 28, the mobile service tower (top) rolled back to reveal the Delta II rocket (second image). Liftoff of the Delta II rocket and its satellite cargo is targeted for launch from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 2 at 6:20 a.m. PST on Thursday, January 29.
NASA administrator Charles Bolden attended the rollback event, where he spoke to a group gathered to watch the reveal. “What will SMAP measure?” asked a second-grade student (above).
Bolden was not the only one answering that question on the day before launch. SMAP scientists Dara Entekhabi, Randy Koster, Wade Crow, and Susan Moran (above, from left to right) started the day explaining the mission’s science to a gathering of social media mavens. So, what will SMAP measure? Visit the mission page to find out.