Apparently, Russia isn’t the only country that can pitch multi-million dollar satellites into the ocean.
A rocket, standing more than nine stories tall, blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base but failed to lift a NASA Earth-observation satellite into orbit and plummeted into the Pacific Ocean. The failed mission cost $424 million, the space agency said.
It is the second consecutive time that NASA has encountered the problem with the Taurus XL rocket built by Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va.
NASA scientists believe the launch on Friday failed because the satellite’s protective cover, which opens like a clamshell, did not separate as expected.
“Obviously, this is a terrific disappointment and we feel bad for letting NASA … down,” said Barron Beneski, an Orbital Sciences spokesman. “People have dedicated years of their lives into this.”
NASA’s Glory satellite was designed to help scientists understand how the sun and particles of matter in the atmosphere called aerosols affect the Earth’s climate. It was also built by Orbital in Virginia.
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Gee, you’d think NASA would have figured out what the problem was after the first time it happened. It’s more than embarrassing, not to mention incredibly expensive, to have the exact same failure occur twice in a row.
/oh well, I suppose it could have been worse, at least it wasn’t a human payload
Filed under: Blog Entry | Tagged: Aerosols, Atmosphere, Barron Beneski, Blasted Off, Clamshell, Did Not Separate, Dulles, Earth's Climate, Earth-Observation Satellite, Failed, Failed Mission, Glory, Glory Satellite, Launch, Launch Contingency, NASA Scientists, Orbital i, Orbital Sciences, Orbital Sciences Corp., Pacific Ocean, Particles Of Matter, Plummeted, Problem, Protective Cover, Rocket, Satellite, Space Agency, Spokesman, Sun, Taurus XL, Taurus XL Rocket, Terrific Disappointment, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Virginia | 1 Comment »