Thing’s That Make You Go Hummmmmmmm!

SPACE.com //

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  • Space.com space.com Fri Mar 4, 12:30 pm ET

    This story was updated at 8:58 a.m. ET.

    A rocket carrying NASA’s newest climate satellite failed to reach orbit today (March 4) and likely crashed into the southern Pacific Ocean after its nose cone failed to separate on time, space agency officials said.

    The rocket, a four-stage Taurus XL booster, launched from a seaside pad at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base at about 2:10 a.m. PST (1010 GMT) carrying NASA’s $424 million Glory satellite to study Earth’s climate.

    “We failed to make orbit,” NASA launch director Omar Baez told reporters in a somber briefing following the launch failure. “All indications are, the satellite and rocket are in the southern Pacific Ocean somewhere.” [Video of NASA’s Failed Glory Satellite Launch]

    Minutes after liftoff, the Taurus XL rocket’s nose cone – a clamshell-like covering around the satellite called a fairing that is designed to separate during the trip into orbit – suffered some sort of failure, NASA officials said.

    A familiar failure

    A similar launch failure occurred on a Taurus rocket in 2009, dooming another NASA climate mission – the Orbiting Carbon Observatory – when it also crashed into the southern Pacific Ocean. The rocket is built by the Virginia-based company Orbital Sciences Corp., and officials there thought they’d solved the booster’s problem.

    Two satellite launches, both to prove global warming, never made it into orbit!!!! When did we become, so inept at putting a satellite into space? Hummmmmmmmmm…Just My Opinion

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