Screenshot via United Launch Alliance
With space gazes fixed on Mars this week, an early morning launch scheduled out of Vandenberg Air Force Base has curiosities piqued a little closer to home.
A few cumulus clouds can't keep a rocket down, and United Launch Alliance's Atlas V NROL-36 has a date with space scheduled for just after midnight on Wednesday.
Nearly a dozen smaller auxilary payloads, or "cubesats," will also be delivered to space as part of the launch. The cubesat missions will study "space weather and communication, space environment, debris mitigation, maritime shipping container tracking, and spaceflight safety and orbit refinement."