A recent NASA satellite launch has failed to get a new weather satellite into orbit. The satellite, called Glory, was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and the rocket carrying the satellite malfunctioned. The $424 million mission ended with the Glory satellite crashing somewhere in the Pacific.
Launch of new generation of weather satellite goes haywire
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration recently botched a satellite launch because of a faulty rocket, according to MSNBC. The NASA launch of a new satellite failed to put the payload into space when a key component of the rocket booster failed mid-flight. A state-of-the-art weather satellite, called Glory, launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California just after 2 a.m. (Pacific time) on Friday, March 4. However, the mission was aborted just before the rocket entered the upper atmosphere when the nose cone of the Taurus XL rocket failed to open. The nose cone should have opened in a similar fashion to a clam shell, releasing the satellite into orbit, but the satellite is now somewhere in the Pacific ocean.
Second failed rocket from same company
The Taurus XL rocket is manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corp., according to CBS, and this makes the second major mishap involving one of the company’s rockets. In February of 2009, a Taurus rocket carrying the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, a $273 million satellite that would have monitored carbon levels in the atmosphere, also failed to reach orbit when the nose cone of the rocket, called a fairing, failed to open and the weight of the rocket prevented it from escaping the atmosphere.
Shuttle mission extended
The currently ongoing mission of Shuttle Discovery, which began Feb. 24, has been extended by one day,to March 8, according to CBS, in order to give the astronauts who went to the International Space Station more time to finish things. The mission is bittersweet, as it will be the last voyage for Discovery, which will be retired as soon as the shuttle returns. A similar end awaits the last two operational shuttles, Endeavour and Atlantis.
CBS on the satellite launch: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/04/scitech/main20039189.shtml
CBS on the shuttle mission: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/04/scitech/main20039149.shtml
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