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Photos: NASA's IRIS Sun Observatory Mission in Space

Pegasus, IRIS Joined with Carrier Aircraft

NASA/Randy Beaudoin

This image shows technicians and engineers at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California connecting the Pegasus XL rocket with the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, solar observatory to the Orbital Sciences L-1011 carrier aircraft. This image was released June 19, 2013.

Aircraft and Rocket Joined

NASA/Randy Beaudoin

Technicians and engineers at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California mate the Pegasus XL rocket with the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, solar observatory to the Orbital Sciences L-1011 carrier aircraft. This image was released June 19, 2013.

IRIS Spacecraft Team

LMSAL

The Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company spacecraft team in Sunnyvale, Calif. is seen posing in front of the completed spacecraft bus for NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission.

Integration of Solar Panels

LMSAL

Engineers secure the solar panels to the telescope for NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) in the clean room at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto where it was designed and built.

IRIS Integration Review

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin Space Systems engineer Cathy Chou, integration and test lead for NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) observatory, inspects the IRIS solar telescope in a clean room at the company's Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, Calif.

Mating Telescope and Electronics

LMSAL

Sitting on a work bench, the main telescope is ready to be mated to the back-end electronics of NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS).

Working On IRIS Spectrometer

LMSAL

An engineer works on the spectrometer instrument for IRIS.

IRIS Spacecraft Bus in Cleanroom

LMSAL

The spacecraft bus structure for NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission is seen in a cleanroom in a Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company cleanroom in Sunnyvale, Calif. The bus is currently undergoing integration with the IRIS telescope.

Cutaway Diagram of IRIS

NASA/LMSAL

This cutaway diagram shows the IRIS spacecraft components without solar panels for clarity.

IRIS Components

NASA/LMSAL

An artist rendition of the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) with major components labeled. IRIS is a NASA Small Explorer Mission to observe how solar material moves, gathers energy, and heats up as it travels through a little-understood region in the sun's lower atmosphere.

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