ukcollin writes "NASA successfully launched the Aura satellite today after several previous failed attempts. The Aura satellite was launched by a 12-story Delta 2 rocket, at 6:01am (EST) from Vandenberg AFB in California. The satellite is reported to have cost in excess of $785 million dollars, and its main mission will be to study the Earth's ozone to try and determine if the ozone hole is shrinking or increasing. Although it will be focused on the stratosphere (the ozone layer), it will also be tracking pollution, climate changes, etc. by scanning and analyzing each of Earth's atmospheric levels all the way down to the troposphere."