A NASA satellite planned to study greenhouse gases from space failed to make orbit. Instead, it crashed in the Pacific Ocean. According to the AP this satellite is part of a $280 million NASA project, but they don’t break out how much money just went into the water.
Official Explanation: NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite failed to reach orbit after its 4:55 a.m. EST liftoff this morning from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Preliminary indications are that the fairing on the Taurus XL launch vehicle failed to separate. The fairing is a clamshell structure that encapsulates the satellite as it travels through the atmosphere.
The spacecraft did not reach orbit and likely landed in the Pacific Ocean near Antarctica, said John Brunschwyler, the program manager for the Taurus XL.
A Mishap Investigation Board will immediately be convened to determine the cause of the launch failure.
No word on whether or not they’ll try to resend it into space. In honour of MediaMemo, our former editor, we’re including a clip of “Satellite of Love” by Lou Reed via YouTube.