Mar 5 2011
A rocket carrying an $424 million Earth-observation satellite to study Global Warning plummeted into the Pacific Ocean after a failed launch attempt Friday, the second-straight launch failure to NASA’s weakened environmental monitoring program since Obama took office.
UK DAILY MAIL –The Taurus XL rocket carrying NASA’s Glory satellite lifted off early Friday morning from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, but fell to the sea several minutes later. The same thing happened to another climate-monitoring satellite two years ago with the same type of rocket. (But at least we have a lot of Muslims working at Nasa now)
“We failed to make orbit,” NASA launch director Omar Baez (Omar. OMAR? Is that one of the Muslim outreachees?) said at a press conference Friday. “Indications are that the satellite and rocket … is in the southern Pacific Ocean somewhere.”
Officials explained that a protective shell atop the rocket didn’t come off the satellite as it should have about three minutes after launch. That left the Glory spacecraft without the velocity to reach orbit.
The 2009 failed satellite, which would have studied global warming, crashed into the ocean near Antarctica. Officials said Glory likely wound up landing in the same area. Both were on Taurus rockets launched by Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va.
The satellite and rocket were built by Virginia-based Orbital Sciences, which suffered a similar failure with a Taurus XL rocket in 2009 on another Nasa launch.
The Glory satellite was to have provided scientists information on how the sun and atmospheric particles called aerosols affected Earth’s climate. Glory was launched on a planned three-year mission to analyse how airborne particles affect Earth’s climate. The $424million mission is managed by the Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.
NASA and Orbital spent more than a year studying and trying to fix the problem that caused 2009’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory to fail. The payload fairing – a clamshell-shaped protective covering for the satellite – did not open to release the satellite.
The same thing happened with Glory, officials said. “We really went into the (Glory) flight feeling we had nailed the fairing issue,” said Ronald Grabe, general manager of Orbital’s launch systems division and a former space shuttle commander.