Sunday, March 6, 2011

NASA Creates Glory Satellite Mishap Investigation Board 
  
WASHINGTON -- NASA's Glory mission ended Friday after the spacecraft failed to reach orbit following its launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. 

NASA has begun the process of creating a Mishap Investigation Board to evaluate the cause of the failure. Telemetry indicated the fairing, a protective shell atop the satellite's Taurus XL rocket, did not separate as expected. 

The launch proceeded as planned from its liftoff at 5:09 a.m. EST through the ignition of the Taurus XL's second stage. However, the fairing failure occurred during the second stage engine burn. It is likely the spacecraft fell into the South Pacific, although the exact location is not yet known. 

NASA's previous launch attempt of an Earth science spacecraft, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory onboard a Taurus XL on Feb. 24, 2009, also failed to reach orbit when the fairing did not separate.


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