NASA / ORBITAL SCIENCES CORPORATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ORBITAL SCIENCES CORPORATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
AIM satellite in a clean room. The technicians are testing the deployment of the satellite's solar array (brown panels). AIM (Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere) was launched on 25th April 2007 to study noctilucent clouds. These are the highest altitude clouds known in the atmosphere, typically forming some 80 kilometres above Earth's surface. Little is known about the factors that influence their formation and development, and it is hoped that AIM's 26 month mission will provide much more information about them. The clouds have increased in prevalence and brightness in recent years, which some suggest is related to climate change. Photographed at Orbital Sciences Corporation's manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia, USA.
Model release not required. Property release not required.