NASA Global Warming Satellite Lands In Ocean---
280 Million Dollars Downed In Smoke ...
1) NASA global warming satellite has troubled
launch 1:55 a.m. February 24, 2009
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A NASA satellite launched on a
two-year mission to track carbon dioxide emissions worldwide had technical
problems shortly after its pre-dawn takeoff that put the mission in
The Taurus XL rocket carrying the Orbiting Carbon Observatory
blasted off at 1:55 a.m. PST Tuesday from California's Vandenberg Air Force
Base, but NASA's George Diller says launch managers have shifted to a
contingency plan because the payload fairing failed to separate properly from
the spacecraft several minutes after the launch.
The fairing shelters the
payload as the launch vehicle flies through the atmosphere.
observatory, part of a $280 million mission, is NASA's first satellite dedicated
to monitoring carbon dioxide on a global scale.
Satellite to Measure Global Warming Is Lost in Space
By Alex Morales
Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- A satellite launched today from
California failed to reach its planned orbit, dooming a mission to study
global-warming gases, U.S. aerospace officials said.
“The mission is lost,”
National Aeronautics and Space Administration spokesman Steve Cole said in a
telephone interview from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. “At this point
no one is exactly sure what the cause is.”
The device, called an Orbiting
Carbon Observatory, was due to study how carbon dioxide enters and leaves the
atmosphere, to help scientists pinpoint how the main greenhouse gas varies from
year to year. That in turn was intended to guide government global-warming
policy, according to NASA.
The craft “failed to reach orbit” after its launch
at 1:51 a.m. local time, NASA said in a statement on its Web site. “The payload
fairing around the Orbiting Carbon Observatory did not separate as planned.”
Cole said he couldn’t elaborate on that statement.
NASA global warming satellite lands in ocean Minutes ago
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A rocket
carrying a NASA global warming satellite splashed into the ocean near Antarctica
early Tuesday after a failed launch.
The Taurus XL rocket carrying the
Orbiting Carbon Observatory blasted off just before 2 a.m. from California's
Vandenberg Air Force Base.
But minutes later, the fairing on the rocket
failed to separate, a preliminary investigation found. The fairing is a
clamshell cover protecting the satellite as it is blasted through the
The 986-pound satellite was supposed to be placed into an orbit
some 400 miles high to track carbon dioxide emissions.
"Certainly for the
science community it's a huge disappointment," said John Brunschwyler, Taurus
project manager for Orbital Sciences Corp., which built the rocket and
satellite. "It's taken so long to get here."
The project was nine years in
The rocket landed in the ocean near Antarctica. A group of
environment ministers from more than a dozen countries are meeting on the
southern continent this week to get the latest science on global
NASA said it will convene a team of experts to investigate the loss
of the satellite.
The observatory was NASA's first satellite dedicated to
monitoring carbon dioxide on a global scale. Measurements collected from the
$280 million mission were expected to improve climate models and help
researchers determine where the greenhouse gas originates and how much is being
absorbed by forests and oceans.
Last month, Japan successfully launched the
world's first satellite to monitor global warming emissions.
is the leading greenhouse gas and its buildup helps trap heat from the sun,
causing potentially dangerous warming of the planet. Carbon dioxide emissions
rose 3 percent worldwide from 2006 to 2007, according to international science
On the Net:
* Carbon Orbiting