Friday, March 04, 2011

NASA's $424 Million Global Warming Satellite Fails to Reach Orbit

Oops. A half a billion here, a half a billion there. Pretty soon all this wasted money starts adding up.
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."
We're always told what a waste of money missile defense is, but those tests actually work.
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.
But don't worry. Despite repeated failures now, we'll continues to waste billions pursuing the causes of mythical global warming.
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 after launching from the same kind of rocket that carried Glory. An accident board was formed to investigate and corrective action was taken to prevent future problems. A duplicate is now scheduled to fly from Vandenberg in 2013.

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