Feb 24, 2009 | 5
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO), NASA’s satellite to track CO2 emissions on Earth, failed to reach orbit after blasting off early this morning, crashing in the waters off of Antarctica and dashing hopes for the $278-million mission.
The payload fairing—a shroud that covered the OCO to protect it during its trip through the atmosphere—failed to separate from the Taurus XL booster rocket carrying the satellite after it took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 1:55 A.M. Pacific time (4:55 A.M. Eastern time), NASA said.
“The satellite reentered the atmosphere and fell into the ocean just short of Antarctica,” Alan Buis, a spokesperson for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tells us. “The mission is lost.
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