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NASA: (Global Warming) Observation satellite fails to reach orbit
AP ^ | Mar 4, 7:48 AM EST

Posted on 03/04/2011 5:23:14 AM PST by Skeez

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) -- A rocket that blasted off early Friday carrying an Earth-observation satellite has failed to reach orbit, NASA said.

The Taurus XL rocket carrying NASA's Glory satellite lifted off about 2:10 a.m. PST from Vandenberg Air Force Base, officials said .

But NASA said in a brief statement that a protective shell or fairing atop the rocket did not separate from the satellite as it should have about three minutes after the launch.

That left the Glory spacecraft without the velocity to reach orbit, NASA launch commentator George Diller said.

"The flight was going well until the time of fairing separation," Diller said. "We did not have a successful fairing separation from the Taurus and there was insufficient velocity with the fairing still on for the vehicle to achieve orbit."

The status of the flight wasn't immediately clear and flight officials didn't immediately respond to calls for further comment.

Glory was launched on a three-year mission to analyze how airborne particles affect Earth's climate. Besides monitoring particles in the atmosphere, it will also track solar radiation to determine the sun's effect on climate change.

The $424 million mission is managed by the NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

Friday's launch came after engineers spent more than a week troubleshooting a glitch that led to a last-minute scrub.

Glory was supposed to study tiny atmospheric particles known as aerosols, which reflect and trap sunlight. The vast majority occurs naturally, spewed into the atmosphere by volcanoes, forest fires and desert storms. Aerosols can also come from manmade sources such as the burning of fossil fuel.

NASA suffered a mishap two years ago when a global warming satellite also destined to join the Earth-observation network crashed into the ocean near Antarctica...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: globalwarming; nasa; space
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To: Skeez

The hockey stick compensator failed due to a gyro imbalance. Tragic.

41 posted on 03/04/2011 6:40:01 AM PST by dogcaller
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To: Prospero
Orbital has a real track record of success, by the way, so I don't want to cast doubt on their abilities which have been proven in amazing ways, a legacy that includes the Pegasus.

FWIW, the Wikipedia article on Taurus XL states that the last one (the "Orbiting Carbon Observatory") also failed to reach orbit due to fairing non-sep. That was in February 2009.

42 posted on 03/04/2011 6:42:20 AM PST by Steely Tom (Obama goes on long after the thrill of Obama is gone)
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To: Flightdeck
There’s another angle to think about here. I’m a little disappointed this thing crashed, because if it was meant to legitimately study the effect of the sun on our climate, it could have objectively flattened the anthropogenic global warming arguments. Now, it’s business-as-usual. I bet there are some GW scientists just a little bit relieved...

I agree. This was legitimate science that was wrapped in the terminology of political and marketing fraud.

43 posted on 03/04/2011 6:46:55 AM PST by Moonman62 (Half of all Americans are above average. Politicians come from the other half.)
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To: Skeez

NASA launch mishap: Satellite crashes into ocean
Second launch failure in a row for Taurus rocket as Glory climate satellite fails to reach low-Earth orbit

The protective nose cone of an Orbital Sciences Corp. Taurus XL rocket carrying NASA’s Glory environmental research satellite apparently failed to separate after launch Friday, preventing the spacecraft from achieving orbit in a $424 million failure.

It was the second nose cone failure in a row for a Taurus XL rocket following the 2009 loss of another environmental satellite, reports CBS News space analyst William Harwood.

“This is a pretty tough night for all of us,” Grabe said. “A little over two years ago, we had a similar tough night when we conducted a Taurus launch for the OCO mission. That mission suffered a failure ... of the fairing to separate. We conducted an extensive investigation of that anomaly and we traced the most probable cause to a failure of the fairing separation initiation system.

“We spent the last two years doing the analysis on what went wrong the last time, redesigning the system and testing the components of the system. We went so far as to completely change out the initiation system to a system we use on one of our other vehicles, the Minotaur 4. And in the intervening two years, that system has flown successfully three times. So we really went into this flight feeling confident we had really nailed the fairing issue. And then we came up with the results Omar described.”

For NASA, the second Taurus XL failure in a row drove losses to nearly $700 million.

NASA’s Glory spacecraft launched aboard a Taurus XL rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Friday at 5:09:45 a.m. EST failed to reach orbit.

Telemetry indicated the fairing, the protective shell atop the Taurus XL rocket, did not separate as expected about three minutes after launch.

Bad week for hardware: Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite burns up

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) — A satellite launched from California failed to reach orbit today, crashing into the sea near Antarctica and dooming a $273 million mission to study global-warming gases.

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite didn’t reach orbit after a 1:55 a.m. launch because the “payload fairing” failed to separate, NASA said. The fairing covers the top of the satellite during launch and needs to come off so the satellite can detach from the rocket and enter orbit.

While launch and separation of the rocket’s first stage went as planned, a clamshell-shaped “fairing” covering the satellite failed to open, meaning it was too heavy to reach orbit, Brunschwyler said on NASA’s online television station.

“As a direct result of carrying that extra weight, we could not reach orbit,” Brunschwyler said. Indications are the satellite “landed just short of Antarctica, in the ocean.”

Both the satellite and launch rocket were built by Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. John Brunschwyler, Orbital Sciences’s mission manager, said “over the past 10 years, we’ve flown a nearly perfect record — 56 out of 57 vehicles and we’ve not had any problems with this particular fairing design.”

NASA’s investment was $273 million for the design, development and launch operations. Insurance details on the mission may be given later today, NASA said.

NASA Selects Launcher for Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2

NASA has selected Orbital Sciences Corp., under a $70 million services agreement, for the February 2013 launching of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, a replacement for the original greenhouse gas monitoring spacecraft that was lost during a 2009 launch mishap. OCO-2 is funded as part of NASA’s proposed $1.8 billion, 2011 Earth sciences budget.The original spacecraft, launched atop an Orbital Sciences Taurus XL, plummeted into the ocean near Antarctica after lifting off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 24, 2009. A mishap investigation board traced the loss to a failure of the rocket’s fairing separation mechanism. OCO-1 was the cornerstone of a $273 million, two-year NASA mission to track global carbon dioxide emissions from orbit for the first time. Climate experts, concerned about heat trapped in the atmosphere by rising levels of CO2, urged the space agency to move quickly to develop a similar spacecraft following the mishap.

Orbital Sciences will provide a Taurus XL 3110, also launched from Vandenberg, for the 2013 re-flight.
Like its predecessor, OCO-2 is designed to identify distinct sources of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere. The new spacecraft will provide a global map of natural as well as human carbon dioxide sources and “sinks” — places in the atmosphere where the colorless gas accumulates. Carbon dioxide is the leading greenhouse gas attributed to human activities. Carbon dioxide, water vapor, ozone and methane are among gases in the atmosphere that trap heat from sunlight that would otherwise be reflected off the Earth’s surface and back into space. The National Research Council has suggested OCO-2 could provide a baseline for data on carbon emissions as part of a new climate treaty intended to address concerns over global warming.

Makes me wonder if more money will be spent on a Glory 2 satellite.

44 posted on 03/04/2011 6:49:10 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Skeez

cheaper faster better

45 posted on 03/04/2011 6:57:56 AM PST by NeverForgetBataan (To the German Commander: ..........................NUTS !)
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To: MsLady
And if the findings don’t come out like they think they should, they will just twist it all around so it looks like what they want it to look like. Or throw more money at it in hopes that’ll fix it.

Agree. NASA is a waste of resources.

46 posted on 03/04/2011 6:59:18 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your most dangerous enemy is your own government,)
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To: Skeez

Somebody’s probably still planning on using the data with the right “correction” factors. What the heck, they already pretty much multiply by zero and add what they need anyway.

47 posted on 03/04/2011 7:03:53 AM PST by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
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To: from occupied ga
NASA is a waste of resources.

Right along with almost all of government agencies.

48 posted on 03/04/2011 7:05:15 AM PST by MsLady (If you died tonight, where would you go? Salvation, don't leave earth without it!)
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To: screaminsunshine
What is a Taurus?

I believe the first stage uses retired MX/Peacekeeper ICBMs.

49 posted on 03/04/2011 8:53:55 AM PST by OCC
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To: Skeez

Maybe they DON’T want these up there to prove once and for all that AGW is a hoax...

50 posted on 03/04/2011 8:54:56 AM PST by battousai (Conservatives are racist? YES, I hate stupid white liberals.)
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To: Skeez

Bottoms up Antarctic ice growth discovered

Mar 3, 7:09 PM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - When it comes to ice, scientists are giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “bottoms up.” Those massive ice sheets in Antarctica don’t just grow on top when snow falls, they also grow from the bottom up, according to new research published Thursday.

51 posted on 03/04/2011 9:33:01 AM PST by KeyLargo
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To: battousai

Nahhh, I’m sure once they get that thing in orbit it will provide data massaged to prove their point.

Lurve yer tagline, BTW.

52 posted on 03/04/2011 2:47:57 PM PST by West Texas Chuck (Eat the young, 100 million guppies can't be wrong.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

I would suspect that the AGW proponents do not want any objective data to mess up their story.

My wildest conspiratorial theory is that someone has figured out how to make something shift slightly under the massive G-forces of take-off to jam the clamshell opening mechanism.

Could be a good Clancy book...

No new data means they can keep using the old corrupt data.

53 posted on 03/04/2011 2:55:33 PM PST by Andy from Chapel Hill
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To: Andy from Chapel Hill

It sounds like the final stage was unable to separate.
So now where did it come down?

54 posted on 03/04/2011 3:00:16 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: tet68

While launch and separation of the rocket’s first stage went as planned, a clamshell-shaped “fairing” covering the satellite failed to open, meaning it was too heavy to reach orbit, Brunschwyler said on NASA’s online television station.

“As a direct result of carrying that extra weight, we could not reach orbit,” Brunschwyler said. Indications are the satellite “landed just short of Antarctica, in the ocean.”

55 posted on 03/04/2011 3:08:32 PM PST by Andy from Chapel Hill
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To: Prospero

This is the 3rd Taurus XL failure, out of 9 launches, giving it only a 67% success rate. Most of the other established launch vehicles have 90+% success rates, but are significantly more expensive. The launch vehicle only cost $50 million, a bargain in the rocket world, but you get what you pay for and NASA just lost a $400 million spacecraft. Lose a buck trying to save a dime, a pity.

56 posted on 03/04/2011 5:10:36 PM PST by too_cool_for_skool
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