After a 17-year back story that involved politics and agency peacemaking, the Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, has now begun a million-mile journey that will take it to a place where the gravitational forces between the sun and Earth are balanced.
Riding a SpaceX Falcon rocket, DSCOVR took off at 6:03 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
This launch is important for SpaceX because it is its first deep-space launch. And it's fascinating because the project emerged from an idea proposed by Al Gore in 1998.