This the first mission of NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) Program. The idea of these missions to better understand the causes and effects of solar weather; how to predict changes in space weather and perhaps protect against severe storms.
The SDO spacecraft lifted off from Kennedy Space Center this morning aboard an Atlas 5 rocket.
Twitter was abuzz with news of the fantastic launch:
Picture perfect view of SDO's launch, courtesy @NASAKennedy http://twitpic.com/12lkk2
SDO data coming from Antigua tracking station. So far the flight is going very well, exactly as expected. http://www.nasa.gov/sdo
Picture of SDO launch (better ones to come soon) #SDOisGo http://yfrog.com/37m95yj
Clouds cleared enough to see a beautiful launch. #SDOisGO
WOW!!!THAT WAS AMAZING! Loud, we can still see the vehicle now, just apoint, contails .. THIS is so cool!!