The Aquarius observatory is placed on top of its rocket and is readied for launch.


I’m here at Vandenberg Air Force Base in southern California. This is where we launch Aquarius from. The place: Space Launch Complex-2, or SLC-2, as we call it. Over the few days, we have put a bag over the spacecraft so it remains clean and then we put the entire spacecraft into a canister, or a can, as we call it, and it’s a very big can. It’s about 30 feet tall.

We now put it on a truck and start it moving up north to the SLC-2 facility. This 20-mile journey takes us 5 hours going at a very slow pace in the middle of the night, and engineers have been working day and night to make this possible.

We appear here at SLC-2, Space Launch Complex-2 early in the morning at the base of the tower. The canister is slowly lifted up to the top of the tower.

It takes about 45 minutes to take the canister up and put it into the right place. Once the canister is on top, we bolt it on top of the rocket where it’s going to sit until we again test it to make sure everything is working right.

This is Amit Sen bringing you an update from the Aquarius launch site, from SLC-2, Vandenberg, California.
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