You Win Some…
And Sometimes The Bear Eats You!
A NASA climatological satellite failed shortly after launch last night. “Initial indications are the vehicle did not have enough [force] to reach orbit and landed just short of Antarctica in the ocean.”
Several news sources say the satellite fairing (the clamshell-like housing containing the satellite during launch) failed to open and separate after it was launched from Vandenburg AFB, in California.
The $273 million satellite, called the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, would have collected global measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere to help better forecast changes in carbon-dioxide levels and their effect on the Earth’s climate.
The OCO also would have provided information about CO2 “sinks” — areas, like oceans or landfills, that absorb and store carbon dioxide. NASA officials said all measurements would be combined with the findings of ground observation stations, providing a more complete account of the human and natural sources of CO2.
Orbital Sciences, based in Dulles, VA, built the vehicle.