In December 2010, an ER-2 aircraft lifts off with MABEL from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Palmdale Calif., headed for a forested region in the Sierras. NASA scientists have previously measured tree heights and ground topography here, which will be used to better understand what MABEL "sees" from the sky.

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Photo by: NASA/MABEL |  VIRIN: 120113-A-FW579-001.JPG