The captions that follow were written in expectation of a successful launch. They've been edited somewhat to reflect Glory's unsuccessful launch.
The satellite Glory was to be part of a NASA mission to enhance the agency's modeling of the Earth's climate and reduce uncertainties about the causes and consequences of climate change. Among other things, the craft was intended to offer look at how aerosols affect climate. It will also help maintain a record of total solar irradiance.
Aerosols and solar energy influence the total amount of energy entering and exiting the Earth's atmosphere. Maintaining accurate measurements is important in anticipating future changes to our climate and how they may affect life.
Joining Aqua, CloudSat, CALIPSO, and Aura, all depicted here, Glory would have been the 5th Earth observation satellite in the Afternoon Constellation data-collection cluster in sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 690 kilometers.