NASA’S Glory Satellite Fails To Reach Orbit

Taurus Liftoff

The Taurus XL rocket launches from Space Launch Complex 576-E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Image credit: NASA TV

NASA reports that Glory, a satellite to monitor aerosols failed to reach orbit, apparently from a fairing that didn’t release. See update below on the massive budget overruns for this failed project.

NASA’s announcement:

NASA’s Glory spacecraft launched aboard a Taurus XL rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Friday at 5:09:45 a.m. EST failed to reach orbit.

Telemetry indicated the fairing, the protective shell atop the Taurus XL rocket, did not separate as expected about three minutes after launch.

A press briefing to discuss the Glory launch failure is planned at Vandenberg for approximately 8:00 a.m. EST. NASA TV will carry the press conference live.

The new Earth-observing satellite was intended to improve our understanding of how the sun and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect Earth’s climate.

Project management for Glory is the responsibility of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA’s Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., is the launch service provider to Kennedy of the four-stage Taurus XL rocket and is also builder of the Glory satellite for Goddard.

h/t: Sera

=======================================================

Thanks to Ric Werme for posting this story. See previous issues with this launch here

NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory, another climate satellite, met a similar fate in February 2009 Bad week for hardware: Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite burns up

Do you think Murphy might be trying to tell NASA something. Like maybe “get back to basics”? – Anthony

UPDATE: Frank K in comments psted this:

<a href=”http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/2008-03-25-nasaprojects_N.htm&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>Major NASA projects over budget</a>

WASHINGTON — Two-thirds of NASA’s major new programs are significantly over budget or behind schedule, according to the agency’s latest report to Congress.
.
.
.
<b>
Hard choices also will have to be made to make up for the skyrocketing cost of the Glory satellite, which is 31% over budget. Under the 2005 law, NASA can’t spend any money on the project after the summer of 2009 without congressional approval — a requirement that could be moot if NASA launches Glory as planned in April 2009.

To make up for the extra $274 million that Glory and the other three programs will cost, NASA could reduce pre-flight testing, strip planned scientific sensors from over-budget spacecraft and scale back operations of older space missions, Maizel says.

The overruns “all the more put a crimp in NASA’s budget,” which is too small for the agency “to do everything it’s trying to do,” says Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.
</b>

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About Ric Werme

I'm a software engineer with roots that go back to PDP-10s and the ARPAnet (and WWW references to those days). I also like most anything scientific and am active in the climate skeptic community.
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139 Responses to NASA’S Glory Satellite Fails To Reach Orbit

  1. Pogo says:

    According to the BBC: “It is the exact same failure which befell Nasa’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) in 2009. It too launched on a Taurus XL rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, and again the fairing failed to separate properly.”

    It almost seems like someone doesn’t want better quality climate data.!

  2. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    How hopeless are they, can’t even put a weather satellite into orbit LOL

    What a waste of money, they should spend it on a probe to Europa, not this stupid project!

  3. Smokey says:

    Why am I not surprised?

  4. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.spacenews.com/civil/110303-doubt-europa-mission.html

    GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  5. Convenient mishaps?

  6. Alex the skeptic says:

    This failure can easily be blamed on anthropogenic global warming, or to be more exact, due to NASA’s obsession on AGW while neglecting it’s real reason of existence; space exploration.

  7. Patrick Davis says:

    Another launch fails to “measure climate change”. Is there a trend here?

  8. tallbloke says:

    Bad news. The data would have been useful to Svensmark I suspect.

  9. TrueNorthist says:

    Some might smell a rat here. Rather convenient for it to fail when it was likely going to report a cooling planet.

    Cheers! (Formerly INGSOC)

  10. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Karma?

    Things are meant to happen

  11. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Can they blame CO2 for it? If they used a rocket that didn’t emit CO2 maybe it would have worked, since CO2 causes everything else http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

  12. TrueNorthist says:

    Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
    March 4, 2011 at 5:24 am

    http://www.spacenews.com/civil/110303-doubt-europa-mission.html

    GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    Those diversity and community outreach programs cost a lot of money you know.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/06/nasa-official-walks-claim-muslim-outreach-foremost-mission/

    Cheers! (INGSOC)

  13. Alex the skeptic says:

    Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
    March 4, 2011 at 5:23 am
    How hopeless are they, can’t even put a weather satellite into orbit LOL
    What a waste of money, they should spend it on a probe to Europa, not this stupid project!
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Rightly said Scarlet, They can’t even put a weather satellite into orbit, while expecting us to believe what NASA’s Hansen prophecies on what the climate would be in a hundred year’s time. LOL.
    NASA should be focusing on its riginal raison d’etre; space exploration.

  14. FJM says:

    When I just read this story on BBC, my first thought was that if I go to WUWT and there’s a post up about this already, either the main post or one of the first ten comments will allude to deliberate sabotage because they don’t want better quality data, because it’s all a conspiracy and the data won’t give them the results they want of course.

    Glad to see I wasn’t disappointed.

  15. Henry chance says:

    It is more economical to gather data from actual models instead of gathering it for real.

  16. Hermey says:

    Can they still use it to monitor the ocean?????

  17. paulhan says:

    I wonder is it anything to do with the atmosphere at that altitude being very cold and the fairing locking up, much like the way you put a flywheel onto a crankshaft.

    This is a real shame. The only decent thing that ever came out of this whole climate change issue was the extra money spent on satellites and other observational equipment like ARGO (not forgetting WUWT, of course).

    NASA needs to refocus its attention on space and space exploration, not climate change, and not Muslim outreach, SPACE.

  18. Ric Werme says:

    Patrick Davis says:
    March 4, 2011 at 5:27 am (Edit)

    > Another launch fails to “measure climate change”. Is there a trend here?

    Depends on how many samples are needed for a trend. In sports, a losing streak generally starts at two.

    Failed fairing releases have long been a problem in launches. You’d think people would have a better handle on them by now. One of the most famous failures was photographed in space, as it impacted Gemini 9A

  19. tarpon says:

    I am sure glad their computer models are 100% accurate for the next 100 years of unknowable future. What would we do without such care.

    I suggest they scrap the Muslims in space outreach program and use the money on launch vehicle improvements. NASA needs to stick to space exploration and give up on the rest. This is what happens when science gets political.

  20. Smokey says:

    Good one, Hermey.☺

    And good link, INGSOC. The Administration is spending NASA tax money on the Muslim religion by calling it “outreach.”

  21. Dave Springer says:

    Probably all for the best. Less money is wasted by starving NASA of new data. They can’t waste money pencil whipping data to generate bogus ideological conclusions if they don’t have the data in the first place.

    I’m ready to disband most of NASA and start over a bit at a time. The whole organization needs a cold reboot. Actually the same can be said for most U.S. government bureaucracies – they’re all bloated, unaccountable to the taxpayers, and generally out of control. Vote Tea Party now more than ever.

  22. ew-3 says:

    “Project management for Glory is the responsibility of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. ”

    nuff said.

    those guys must burn through a lot of $$$s.
    this launch cost 424 x 10^6 dollars! a half a BILLION dollars. for what ?

  23. Hide the decline! says:

    Designed to fail, I say.

  24. John Tofflemire says:

    This is a shame. Claims that aerosols are “masking” human-caused global warming are a cornerstone of AGW faith in catastrophic future warming.

  25. Daniel H says:

    Did Gavin write the launch software?

  26. P and R says:

    I am now a conspiracy theorist. 2009 and 2011.

  27. Patrick Davis says:

    “Ric Werme says:
    March 4, 2011 at 5:48 am”

    Then we have a trend, ok. Sports I care not for, it’s all BS IMO. And people need to diverge from that crap! Shame most other lauches, like TV and surveillance, are ok. Find out where the “magic co2″ goes, seems to be a problem.

  28. R. Gates says:

    Very unfortunate as this satellite could have answered some very important questions. Perhaps it’s time to look for commercial launch companies to take the roll of launching important research satellites.

  29. Frank K. says:

    What a shame. Does anyone know how much money was wasted on this mission? Was it “stimulus” money? The same “stimulus” trough that NASA GISS has been feeding from?

    I noticed this in the NASA press release:

    “The fairing, which covers and protects the spacecraft during launch and ascent, underwent a redesign of its separation system after a similar failure two years ago. The new system has been successfully used on another Orbital launch vehicle several times.”

    So this isn’t the first failure…nor will it be the last.

    By the way, if you follow the link above to NASA GSFC, don’t click on any of the “education” links if you don’t want to increase your blood pressure! It’s infused to the max with global warming propaganda intended for our kids…

  30. ew-3 says:

    from: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/420990main_FY_201_%20Budget_Overview_1_Feb_2010.pdf

    Earth and Climate Science 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
    Earth Science (Millions) $1802 $1945 $2090 $2217 $2282

    Increases by $382 million over FY 2010 enacted, and $1.8 billion over 4-years (FY 2011-14) compared to the FY 2010 Budget;
    Re-flies the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, which is critical to our understanding of t
    Earth’s carbon cycle and its effect on climate change;
    Accelerates the development of new satellites to enhance observations of the climate and other Earth systems;
    Expands and accelerates Venture-class competitive PI-led missions;
    Enhances climate change modeling capabilities to enhance forecasts of regional and other effects;
    Operates 15 Earth-observing spacecraft in orbit and launches Glory, NPP, and Aquarius; and
    Proceeds toward completion and launch of remaining foundational missions: LDCM (6/13) and GPM (7/13).

  31. krugwaffle says:

    Buggs Bunny said it best, “Saab-bo-tadgee!”

    Rather unimaginative to keep using the same method however.

    Knowing how such disasters tend to draw attention to NASA’s activities, you’d think they would have double checked the seperation mechanisms before launch. The fact that this has happened again, makes me very suspicious of the watchers.

  32. Heber Rizzo says:

    Strange failure, and it is not the first with a climatological satellite.
    It makes me wonder…
    Anthropogenical bad luck, maybe?

  33. J Gary Fox says:

    All kidding aside, this is a great loss to Solar and Earth Science.

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/glory_irradiance.html#

    “In 2003, a first generation TIM instrument went aloft with the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite. Learning from that instrument, engineers have tweaked the optical and electrical sensors to make the Glory TIM even more capable of measuring the true solar brightness and its fluctuations.

    “The Glory TIM should be three times more accurate than SORCE TIM, and about ten times more accurate than earlier instruments,” said Greg Kopp, a physicist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and leader of the TIM science team.”

    The data from the SORCE satellite showed that the prior 30 years of satellite measurement of Total Solar Irradiance was way off the mark.

    From Anthony’s Posting on 1/14/11

    “The most probable value of total solar irradiance representative of solar minimum is 1360.8 ± 0.5 W m−2, lower than the canonical value of 1365.4 ± 1.3 W m−2 recommended a decade ago. This new value, measured by SORCE/TIM, is validated by irradiance comparisons to a NIST‐calibrated cryogenic radiometer in the new TSI Radiometer Facility. Uncorrected scattering and diffraction are shown to cause erroneously high readings in non‐TIM instruments.

    That’s lower by 4.6 watts per square meter. This may mean that many climate models will have to be reinitialized if it is decided that this value they derive from SORCE is more accurate than the value established previously.”

    What bothers me is that the many delays before launching were related to ensuring that all parts of Glory capsule were functioning perfectly. I would love to see the log of how many rechecks of the fairing protective shield was done.

    Several decades of research and development by very talented people now lie in the Pacific Ocean.

    Crude jokes are not appreciated by those who mourn this loss.

    Video of launch with comments on failure as it occurs is available at:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12644800

  34. Pearland Aggie says:

    Lemme guess…CAGW caused the atmosphere to expand resulting in increased drag on the satellite, which is why the overheated faring failed to separate, right?

    /sarc :)

  35. Kev-in-Uk says:

    I’m with several other posters – a convenient fail, perhaps? But really I am not a conspiracy theorist, but it will be interesting to know who is gonna pick up the bill for this? Nasa?

  36. Jeff K says:

    Oh Mr.Putin could you also, kinda, would ya help us get a weather satellite into orbit as well???

  37. Smokey says:

    I think there are people in NASA who are secretly very relieved that this satellite and the Orbiting Carbon Observatory failed.

    Now they can fall back on their models.

  38. Frank K. says:

    I came across this related tidbit from USA Today circa 2008…

    Major NASA projects over budget

    WASHINGTON — Two-thirds of NASA’s major new programs are significantly over budget or behind schedule, according to the agency’s latest report to Congress.
    .
    .
    .

    Hard choices also will have to be made to make up for the skyrocketing cost of the Glory satellite, which is 31% over budget. Under the 2005 law, NASA can’t spend any money on the project after the summer of 2009 without congressional approval — a requirement that could be moot if NASA launches Glory as planned in April 2009.

    To make up for the extra $274 million that Glory and the other three programs will cost, NASA could reduce pre-flight testing, strip planned scientific sensors from over-budget spacecraft and scale back operations of older space missions, Maizel says.

    The overruns “all the more put a crimp in NASA’s budget,” which is too small for the agency “to do everything it’s trying to do,” says Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

  39. Juice says:

    I guess I don’t get why anyone would be cheering the failure of this launch.

  40. klem says:

    Everyone I know predicted this satellite would not launch, just like they predicted the failure of the last one about 2 years ago. And just like the last failure they suspected it was due to Big Green somehow not wanting the world to know the ACC truth. I realize this is just the usual conspiracy lunacy but somehow I can’t help being sucked into it this time around. I’ll fight it off.

  41. Third Party says:

    “”Working from space is hard, expensive and risky. We cannot take it for granted, and yet we need that information more than ever,” said climate scientist Gavin Schmidt of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science in New York, commenting on the crash on the Real Climate website, “there is a huge hole building in the US contribution to Earth and Sun observing systems.””

  42. Tom T says:

    This is what happens when you change your mission from manned space flight to muslim outreach and studying dirt in the earth’s atmosphere. It also doesn’t help to name a space craft with such a lowly mission as studying dirt a high sounding name such Glory.

  43. Todd says:

    R. Gates says:
    March 4, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Very unfortunate as this satellite could have answered some very important questions. Perhaps it’s time to look for commercial launch companies to take the roll of launching important research satellites.

    NASA, once the global leader in SPACE exploration, now spends billions on global warming research (and muslim outreach). Maybe NASA, once the global leader in SPACE exploration, should focus less on global warming hysteria and muslim outreach and instead focus again on SPACE exploration.

    Maybe those commercial companies should do the global warming research and muslim outreach. I’m sure they can figure out how to spin hysteria to make money. If NASA, once the global leader in SPACE exploration, can no longer effectively launch SPACE vehicles, should they be completely shut down?

    /partial sarc

    It’s outrageous that NASA has lost their edge in space exploration. Maybe de-funding GISS would help re-focus them on their core mission.

  44. Tom T says:

    J Gary Fox :
    All that is interesting only if there is some reason to know it. There is no reason that I can think of why we would ever need to know it.

  45. Keith D says:

    Sorry guys but I smell a big stinky rat here. This satelite was never going to see orbit. Call it a conspiracy theory, but its darn hard to hide cooling when you have such detailed data to fight. Over and over again the IPCC and others don’t want “real” reproduceable data and models to be in the hands of the average “citizen” scientist. Now BO will cut the budget, this thing will never see flight. On the other hand I did see that the super secret X-73 made it back into space.

  46. Douglas DC says:

    So then ,if Schmidt is right, then why all the failures? Sounds like they need some:
    “Steely-eyed Rocket men.” rather than “Watery eyed Warmmen “….

  47. Don K says:

    My experience with hardware testing is military, not NASA, but let me assure those who wonder about whether the fairing release was checked out prior to launch, that it almost certainly was. My guess would be that a lengthy check list was run through including such things as disconnecting the electrical cable, plugging in some sort of fairing release simulator, and verifying that an activation signal was sent at the proper time and only at the proper time. They probably checked it especially carefully because of the previous launch failure.

    The problem is that even simple devices can fail and even well thought out, and verified check lists can have errors. If processes couldn’t fail, automobiles would never require recalls. There’s a reason that test pilots can’t get life insurance.

    So, why did the vehicle crash? I’ll be really surprised if there isn’t a large room full of very bright people working long hours — very likely without overtime — on that very question.

  48. Cubesat Man says:

    It is OK, do not cry, the launch was a failure, the cubesats are now on the bottom of the ocean. Do not despair. There is a Cubesat Forum (see the link) that help you to build new ones. Success!
    http://cubesats.wikidot.com

  49. Pyromancer76 says:

    I am keeping this post and comments in my Politics-2012 folder. I will be looking for that candidate for President who will stand for (and has already shown his/her chops about) …..1.NASA’s task is space only and they better start doing it right 2. American institutions and bureaucracy have room only for intelligent and successful workers; 3. All those who engage in propaganda efforts (pseudo-science) will be fined and given jail time. Fantasy is a wonderful thing.

  50. kbray in california says:

    Conspiracy and Sarcasm ?

    The satellite is probably insured and can be rebuilt. Think of all the repeat jobs!
    Failures like this provide continued job security and ongoing profits for everyone involved.

    When a launch is successful, some jobs are permanently over.
    Having it fail, keeps the payroll rolling on.. milk it as long as you can !!

    It’s easy to create a slight defect that is not easily detectable. The best part for the perpetrators is that all evidence is destroyed in the ensuing burnup/crash.

    Has the world really gotten this selfish?
    Considering the state of some people’s morals these days, unfortunately I’d believe any scam is possible.

    I know I could design a defect into a device so I could keep my job longer…
    however, I would have money in my wallet, but no peace in my soul.
    I really hope this was not intentional….
    But even still, a careless repeat of this defect is inexcusable.

    Fortunately is still see integrity, honesty,and values alive and well at this sincere meeting point, WUWT.

  51. John in L du B says:

    Ok people. Let’s dump the conspiracy. theories. They are about as credible as NASA’s climate models.

    Not sure NASA is ready to return to space. (Yes, I know they are there right now) What NASA needs is an in-depth quality program review. They need a truly strong quality system that guarentees key deliverables, not just more layers of documented bureaucracy. A cornerstone of quality systems is independent audits. We see how GISS hates being audited by outsiders. Could the same disfunction have spread to all of NASA?

    This is costing the American taxpayer seriously big money and probably taxpayers in partner countries as well. Clearly, US taxpayers are not getting value for their dollars spent on climate research either on the ground or in orbit from NASA or any of the other main players in Climate Science. And, just for the record, I believe that the study of climate change is very important. The next ice age, the one certain prediction incidentally, will be very unpleasant for the US and extremely unpleasant for Canada and other northern countries.

  52. Davidg says:

    It went down the glory hole, too bad! Unfortunately, it was paid for by taxpayers’ money.

  53. DesertYote says:

    Sic transit gloria NASAe :(

  54. T Stone says:

    Sounds like rocket scientists should maybe stick to “rocket science”?

  55. ferd berple says:

    Amazing. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science can’t launch space missions, but it spend tons of $$ on Climate Science.

    NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science. Isn’t this where Hansen and Gavin work – ON CLIMATE SCIENCE. Since when did it become the responsibility of NASA to worry about Climate Science?

    Are the likes of Hansen and Gavin draining money out of the space program to support their own personal agenda in Climate Research? Is this why the space launch failed – misdirected funding?

    Why does Gavin, who supposedly works for NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science, spend his days blogging on REAL CLIMATE? Aren’t Gavin and Hansen supposed to be working on SPACE SCIENCE. Isn’t that what their government funded institute is called? Isn’t that what the taxpayers are supposed to be paying for? Shouldn’t they be doing SPACE SCIENCE NOT REAL CLIMATE?

    Could it be that Goddard is infested with space parasites, that are draining funding from space science to conduct climate research? Are Hansen and Gavin space parasites?

    Why even bother to send up space vehicles? After all, aren’t Gavin’s models so accurate that they can tell us all we need to know about space without ever going there? Aren’t Gavin’s models so good that they can actually predict the past, even after Hansen’s careful and repeated adjustments to the historical records?

    Is it time to shut down the REAL CLIMATE WASTE at Goddard?

  56. kbray in california says:

    The last one in this genre that failed is being rebuilt.
    Maybe this is a case of “job security” by workers who don’t want to be laid off..?
    Build in a defect and have the product fail on someone else’s tab…
    Sounds very creative to me.

  57. Dave Springer says:

    J Gary Fox says:
    March 4, 2011 at 6:27 am

    “Several decades of research and development by very talented people now lie in the Pacific Ocean.”

    Huh? They certainly haven’t been building this thing since 1970! Maybe 40 man-years were lost. Ostensibly no R&D is required to replace it since they have all the schematics, software, and construction procedures documented. It’s only a matter of construction time & materials that were lost. Presumably the launch vehicle and payload were commercially insured like just about every other satellite so they don’t even have to beg congress for the funds to try again.

  58. Grant from Calgary says:

    “klem says:
    March 4, 2011 at 7:12 am
    Everyone I know predicted this satellite would not launch, just like they predicted the failure of the last one about 2 years ago. And just like the last failure they suspected it was due to Big Green somehow not wanting the world to know the ACC truth. I realize this is just the usual conspiracy lunacy but somehow I can’t help being sucked into it this time around.”

    Klem, I hate to say it, but I would have bet a small sum that this wouldn’t have made orbit. Which I find sad and scary. And which will help me redouble my efforts to refute the SHAM that is the IPCC and their financiers in the name of freedom and liberty. And I’m a Canadian.

  59. John G. Bell says:

    NASA likes to design critical systems with 3 redundant methods. So what we have here are multiple failures. Yet another disaster at NASA.

    Another half billion dollars of money that we were forced to borrow at 3% tossed into the Sea. I’m mad. How about you?

  60. Dave Springer says:

    “Gavin Schmidt of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science in New York, commenting on the crash on the Real Climate website, “there is a huge hole building in the US contribution to Earth and Sun observing systems.””

    Great. It matches the huge babbling pie hole in your head.

  61. Frank K. says:

    Third Party says:
    March 4, 2011 at 7:16 am

    “Working from space is hard, expensive and risky. We cannot take it for granted, and yet we need that information more than ever,” said climate scientist Gavin Schmidt of NASAs Goddard Institute for Space Science in New York, commenting on the crash on the Real Climate website, “there is a huge hole building in the US contribution to Earth and Sun observing systems.”

    Translation – Forget the cost overruns, bloated budgets, and engineering failures! Gimme more money…I NEED MY GLORY DATA!!

  62. Stephen Singer says:

    According to the story on this over at sciencedaily.com the system that failed this time is the same one that failed on the Carbon Observatory satellite failure two years ago. So much for the fix to that failure. No problemo though the taxpayers will fund yet a third test of the faring release system though the payload will hopefully be a dummy satellite.

  63. Sun Spot says:

    “Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., is the launch service provider” !!
    Private sector launch. Maybe launches should be via Russia or France, not private sector where profit comes before performance.

  64. Mac the Knife says:

    NASA’s Glory…….’splut’…… Perfect.

    I’ve been involved with astronautics and aeronautics for +20 years. History has shown that two failures to achieve orbit on one of the newer rocket systems, designed and built by one of the newer launch companies, should not be viewed by anyone as unusual. The older launch systems have higher reliability because they have had their bugs worked out already. The only ‘rat’ here is new system blues and the only conspiracy is entropy.

    Launching anything into orbit is expensive and risky. We are at the bottom of a deep and unforgiving gravity well, covered with a dense and active atmosphere. Escaping from this requires huge expenditures of energy, driven and guided by technically complex machinery and computers and usually in multiple stages, to achieve the necessary delta V of +Mach 15 for a stable orbit above the earths atmosphere. The probability of something going wrong is always present, and of a higher probability for newer launch system.

  65. Doug Proctor says:

    Another satellite that fails to measure climate change …

    Speaking of which, I’ve been looking for the update for the CERES albedo study from 2002 which reported a 20% reduction in cloud cover/albedo over a 20 year period. Palle and Goode. Struck me as seriously important. The NASA CERES page goes back to 2002 and ends there. Anyone know about what the recent satellite-EarthShine results are? Thought they were equivalent to CO2 forcing.

  66. vukcevic says:

    It is a great loss. Without good data there is no good science.

  67. Chris R. says:

    Hey, first off, do NOT confuse Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) with Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). GSFC is one of NASA’s major centers and has done good work. I work for a government contracting company, and I worked on NASA contracts at GSFC for many years, ending some 7 years ago.

    As to R. Gates’ solution that “commercial launch companies be used”, just what the heck do you think Orbital Sciences is, sir? Orbital Sciences has developed some boost vehicles that are an alternative to such old reliables as the Delta II. I personally do not think much of them. Their first vehicle was the Pegasus, which was a rocket booster to be taken aloft under the wing of a modified B-52 and dropped at 40,000 feet. The booster would then ignite and go, up, up and away. It was designed to launch small payloads (some 400 kg) into low Earth orbit. The first one I worked on, in April 1990, was a success. A few other missions worked. But then they tried to launch the Pegasus XL. CONTRARY TO PREVIOUS NASA PRACTICE, this one was supposed to launch with NO PREVIOUS TESTS. Just–are you ready for this?–computer modelling tests done to verify that the Pegasus XL moter would work.
    It didn’t–large expensive failure, that could have been prevented.

    The old NASA started to die in 1992, when Dan Goldin took over as administrator. He kept demanding “faster, better, cheaper”, and he did not resist at all when Clinton cut his budget by 31%. THIRTY_ONE FREAKING PERCENT, no resistance. He announced that he was absolutely commited to making NASA a “more diverse” operation, and derided the old NASA as “male, pale, and stale”. (Here’s an idea chump–how about hiring people who could just do the job instead of worrying about quotas?) Behind his back, the NASA types derided him as “Captain Chaos”.

    If you check it out, except for Challenger, the old NASA had many fewer failures than under the regimes that started with Dan Goldin.

    I got out in 2004.

  68. Tom in Florida says:

    Perhaps it was an Acme rocket.

  69. ToddE says:

    Dave Springer @ 8:32

    Dave, Sorry but NASA does not insure satellites or boosters so we are out all those $$.
    Since Orbital Sciences built both Glory and the Taurus XL, maybe they’ll pony up for a replacement (I’m not holding my breath). NASA should have used a Delta II.

  70. jorgekafkazar says:

    Two failures in a row? How long has it been since that happened? I think the Thor program, with well over 200 launches, NEVER had two fail in a row. In fact, Delta #347 was the 92nd straight success! The Taurus system has a failure rate of 33%, with three of the last four launches ending in disaster. Something is rotten in Maryland.

    “Ostensibly no R&D is required to replace it since they have all the schematics, software, and construction procedures documented. It’s only a matter of construction time & materials that were lost…” –Dave Springer

    Don’t be so sure. Just try to find any of the software or drawings for Apollo!

    “…Or is it that NASA’s primary mission of “Muslim outreach” has taken their attention away from how to do space missions? “ –George Spelvin

    I believe the Administration backed away from NASA Administrator Bolden’s grandiose (and somewhat insulting) “Muslim outreach” notion after they saw the public reaction. That’s two disasters for Bolden; I think he’s overdue for assignment to the bus chassis inspection detail.

  71. T Stone says:

    My apologies for neglecting the /sarc tag after my first comment. When I first heard this news yesterday my initial reaction was more like:
    vukcevic says:
    March 4, 2011 at 9:11 am

    “It is a great loss. Without good data there is no good science.”

    I couldn’t agree more as setbacks like these delay data collection and cost a great deal of money – both scarce resources these days (data being scarce as what can be attained through FOI requests).

  72. Frank K. says:

    Here’s more…

    NASA’s $400 Million Glory Satellite Lost in Pacific Ocean

    A rocket that blasted off early Friday carrying the $424 million Earth-observation satellite Glory failed to reach orbit, NASA said, and has most likely crashed into the ocean. In a press conference Friday morning, Omar Baez, NASA launch director, voiced the space agency’s worries about the fate of Glory.

    “All indications are that the satellite and rocket are in the southern Pacific Ocean,” Baez said.

    So the satellite itself is $400 million and we know they were 31% over budget in 2008.
    Thus the total price tag for this boondoggle is probably closing in on $1 billion.

    What can I say? The climate scientists get billions of our tax dollars, get millions more in “stimulus” funds on TOP of that, AND are currently slated for BIG INCREASES in their budgets this year and next. All while they fly to Bali, Copenhagen, Cancun. And then they tell us WE are the problem, and that WE must sacrifice to save the planet…
    \rant

  73. T Stone says:

    Did I say “yesterday”? I meant this morning – seems like yesterday.

  74. Malaga View says:

    John in L du B says: Not sure NASA is ready to return to space.

    Mmmmm…. their latest offerings seem pretty spaced out to me…

    vukcevic says: It is a great loss. Without good data there is no good science.

    One small loss for NASA… one giant loss for mankind…

    But look on the bright side… this means business as usual for a lot of folks who are busy singing those immortal words of Tina Turner:
    What’s Love Good Science got to do, got to do with it
    What’s Love Good Science but a second hand emotion

  75. David Schofield says:

    tarpon says:
    … Muslims in space…..

    Wasn’t that a Muppet’s episode??

    Europa mission is probably the single most important objective of mankind. I need to know if we are alone in the universe or not before I die!

  76. Theo Goodwin says:

    Chris R writes:

    “As to R. Gates’ solution that “commercial launch companies be used”, just what the heck do you think Orbital Sciences is, sir?”

    But did they not get the project without bids, without competition? And are they not a practical monopoly at this time?

  77. G. Karst says:

    Splish-Splash, Were all taking a bath. GK

  78. JP says:

    NASA doesn’t do space anymore. Adjusting surface temp data from an office in Manhatten, yes. Launching rockets into orbit, no.

  79. Dave Worley says:

    Was this crash consistent with the model?

    NASA fails to do the hard things again.

  80. JAE says:

    VERY bad news! We need more real data!

  81. George E. Smith says:

    Well I fully remember how Project Vanguard, got Sputnicked, and became Project Rearguard instead. That was back around 1957 as I recall.

    Do they still use explosive bolts to disconnect things; or was the protective fairing held on with Velcro.

    I’m not sure I understand why they want to study aerosols in any case. How about studying clouds instead.

    Well that’s a hell of a lot of money down the drain; far too much in my view; but then today we talk in trillions don’t we.

    I believe the first Prototype Spitfire K5054, cost 50,000 pounds. Sometimes you get a good deal, and some times you get screwed.

  82. Wade says:

    I remember a time, not too long ago, when NASA was good at space exploration. Once upon a time, men walked on the moon. Once upon a time, NASA was able to take recover a serious malfunction on a spaceship and get 3 astronauts home with nothing but gumption and jury-rigs. Once upon a time, NASA invented many things in the space program that found its way into everyday life. Once upon a time, NASA set out to replace single-use rockets with a multi-use space exploration vehicle, and succeeded with flying colors. Though there were some unfortunate mishaps, the multi-use space vehicle was a marvel of engineering.

    Today, NASA fails to put a satellite in orbit, something they have been doing for decades. Today, there is no space shuttle anymore due to budget cuts. Today, NASA is more focused on an agenda than on inspiring people to greater things. Today, NASA is a shell of its former self. Instead of being an inspiration, it is now a symbol of what happens when bad scientists are given blank checks, a symbol of absolute corruption.

    I remember seeing a space shuttle launch live at Cape Canaveral. Every time I saw a space shuttle go up, it almost brought tears to my eyes because it brought me hope. Sure the earth is my home, but I want to experience the dream of outer space one day. Now I am sad because bureaucracy and ideology is destroying the world. I am sad because NASA was once an model of inspiration, but now it is a model of corruption.

  83. Gary Hladik says:

    Scarlet Pumpernickel, what makes you think the current incarnation of NASA would have any better luck with a Europa mission?

  84. 1DandyTroll says:

    Why do they keep up with going with the cheap brands I wonder.

    I say, if you truly want a cheap hang over, always go with moon shine, because, at least, you never go so cheap you risk your eye sight.

    If quality, of assurances, on the other hand is mandatory you always go for the most expensive stuff you can afford which is easy to follow with this little trick: If you wake up with a hangover it wasn’t qualitatively expensive enough.

    NASA needs to clean house from the cheap bastards and up the ante on real quality or they’re fast approaching the point of not even being able to afford a cheap hang over.

  85. JPeden says:

    Since Obama mentioned it and given NASA’s progressive ineptitude, maybe one would think that this event should be a kind of inverse home-grown “sputnik moment” for America, showing what needs to be done by its by now unsurprising but still very impressive failure? But is the new “Reagan” anything like the real Reagan, or likewise only his home-grown progressive opposite, progressively regressing?

    Intentionally comparing Obama to Reagan, big mistake in the real world, “brilliant” in the latte’ Commie Fantasyworld. Obama dredging up the “sputnik moment” especially while tasking NASA with prmarily helping to improve the esteem of Muslim Nations, likewise…and, well, just precious.

  86. Ric Werme says:

    Wade says:
    March 4, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I remember a time, not too long ago, when NASA was good at space exploration. Once upon a time, men walked on the moon. Once upon a time, NASA was able to take recover a serious malfunction on a spaceship and get 3 astronauts home with nothing but gumption and jury-rigs. Once upon a time, NASA invented many things in the space program that found its way into everyday life. Once upon a time, NASA set out to replace single-use rockets with a multi-use space exploration vehicle, and succeeded with flying colors. Though there were some unfortunate mishaps, the multi-use space vehicle was a marvel of engineering.

    I’m sorry, but you are wearing rose colored glasses. I don’t have time to research this, but consider

    Early post-Sputnik – One of the better US rocket explosions had the rocket lift off, climb a few feet, then sink back on the pad and rupture. The best people could say about it was that “Our program is open, their’s is secret.”

    Ranger: Several failures in first half of program, good successes later.

    Mariner: Not sure about failures, but good successes with 6 & 7.

    Pioneer & Voyager – much larger programs than they’re generally remembered for.

    Mars in general – spectacular failures and successes in last decade or two. Remember the mission where the orbit insertion burn had a units error with foot-pounds vs. newton-meters?

    Manned:

    Mercury: one capsule lost at sea (astronaut not lost.)

    Gemini: Bad fairing I mentioned before, failed attitude control thruster on a later flight while docked with Agena could have led to lost of mission.

    Apollo: Apollo 1 fire (three deaths), Apollo 13 disabled.

    Shuttle: Columbia, Challenger. Persistent problems with tiles, O-ring seals, recycle time. The shuttle was supposed to be a space truck making frequent flights. Never lived up to that design goal. Being a marvel of engineering was neither a design goal nor adequate. It never really lived up to the overworked acronym RAS – Reliability, Availability, Serviceability.

    Cost, cycling time, and safety concerns led to stopping its use as a satellite launch platform, especially for satellites destined for geosynchronous orbit. It was too late to save Skylab, a rather neat project, but one nearly literally held together with chewing gum and baling wire. The shuttle was a great vehicle for the Hubble telescope, which had one the all-time major screwups itself with the spherical aberration due to errors in mirror placement.

    The bottom of a gravity well is a great place to evolve, but it’s a really tough nest to leave.

  87. Chris R. says:

    To: Theo Goodwin:

    Orbital Sciences a practical monoply?! Check your circuits, sir, you are getting wrong answers. The Delta II is still available (95% success rate in over 300 launches). So is the Atlas V (22 successful launches). Granted, both of those a heavy lifters and may be overkill for boosting a satellite that’s only a little over 500 kilograms–but there is nothing that says this satellite had to be the only payload on board. I have seen missions deploy 5 separate satellites with no problems.

  88. Ammonite says:

    J Gary Fox says: March 4, 2011 at 6:27 am
    …this is a great loss to Solar and Earth Science.

    Thank you for a well written sentiment. Missions such as Glory are designed to uncover real world observations to advance the state of climate science. WUWT posters frequently complain about models and their relation to the empirical world. This launch failure will delay attempts to bridge gaps in knowledge regarding aerosols. It is a sorry day and the conspiracy theorists who genuineuly suggest that NASA would sabotage its own effort should hang their heads in shame.

  89. wayne says:

    Why would they ever want a more accurate reading on a cooling globe?
    Simple, [snip]. That’s what I think. ☺

  90. Eric Anderson says:

    Well, this is very unfortunate. Any time we can get better, more current data, it is helpful. Would have been nice for Glory to add to our understanding.

    As routine as launches have become, they are still just controlled chaos — a real nail biter every time, with literally thousands of things that can go wrong. My heart goes out to the hundreds of individuals who have worked so hard on this project over the past couple of years.

  91. 2Kevin says:

    Th science mag article on this is really strange http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/03/all-too-familiar-rocket-failure-.html?ref=hp Especially these 2 parts:

    1) “”We’re trying to understand exactly how the sun varies so it won’t be a wildcard in the climate business. It’s a terrible loss; you don’t have many solar cycles in your lifetime.”

    I thought the pro-AGW vanguard deny that the sun has any effect on climate, so what gives now?

    2) “The information would have allowed identification of the type of aerosol—pollutant sulfate from smokestacks, sea salt from ocean surf, or soot from combustion, for example. That, in turn, would have allowed a better understanding of how most aerosols are countering part of global warming by reflecting sunlight back into space. Knowing how much aerosols are cooling the planet would help policymakers plan for the day when pollutant aerosols likely decrease as countries clean up their economies, exposing the world to the full brunt of greenhouse gases. ”

    Are they claiming that as aerosol emissions are curbed or (heaven forbid) the plans of de-industrialization are realized, that AGW will get worse?

    From whence come this madness?

  92. peter_ga says:

    At least nobody was killed or injured. Good accurate data can only help the debate, so bad news.

    What I do not understand about such failures is why do they not keep accurate plans and simply rebuild the thing from scratch, without changing anything, except to fix the problem of course. That would have to be much cheaper than it was to make it originally, since most of the costs would have to be with the salaries of the professionals involved in design and construction.

  93. Brian H says:

    If Obongo has his way, this will justify more exclusive focus on the Outreach to Islam mission. No failures there!

  94. Konrad says:

    I had no idea that the deep sea fish in the South Pacific Ocean had religion or that they were Muslim.

  95. Del says:

    Not to worry, according to NASA’s models the Taurus XL launched successfully and Glory will soon be gathering data.

  96. Jeff B. says:

    Better it lies at the bottom of the Pacific than be used as a tool by Jim Hanson for disbanding our economy. Perhaps with hard coded results like that of the Hockey Team’s FORTRAN, the rocket was incapable of handling real world variance?

  97. Beesaman says:

    NASA

    Needs Another Satellite Again….

    Well the S does not stand for science and there is certainly no E for engineering, that S will not stand for space they way they are going on.

    Maybe it should be renamed

    Nutty Anthropogenic Story Assemblers…

  98. Jerry from Boston says:

    “vukcevic says:
    March 4, 2011 at 9:11 am
    It is a great loss. Without good data there is no good science.”

    Well said. I wish that the Carbon launch and Glory had succeeded. They could have helped resolve a number of issues.

  99. Jim Barker says:

    I thought I read in one of the internet articles this morning, that there was a backup Glory sat and it was scheduled for launch in 2013.

  100. DocMartyn says:

    why don’t they just create a computer simulation of the data the satellite would have generated and then analyze that? It would be both cheaper and less noisy.

  101. SABR Matt says:

    You folks implying conspiracy are both making climate skeptics look like raving lunatics (thanks for that, BTW) and sadly missing the real problem at NASA.

    YouTube search for “Bill Whittle: The Free Frontier” for the real cause of NASA’s total ineptitude.

  102. Dan in California says:

    Chris R. says: March 4, 2011 at 9:26 am
    I work for a government contracting company, and I worked on NASA contracts at GSFC for many years, ending some 7 years ago.

    The old NASA started to die in 1992, when Dan Goldin took over as administrator. He kept demanding “faster, better, cheaper”, and he did not resist at all when Clinton cut his budget by 31%. THIRTY_ONE FREAKING PERCENT, no resistance.
    ————————————————-
    Here are NASA annual budgets, in $Billions/year:
    1987 7,591
    1988 9,092
    1989 11,036
    1990 12,429
    1991 13,878
    1992 13,961
    1993 14,305
    1994 13,695
    1995 13,378
    1996 13,881
    1997 14,360
    1998 14,194
    1999 13,636
    2000 13,428
    2001 14,095
    2002 14,405
    2003 14,610
    2004 15,152
    2005 15,602
    2006 15,125
    2007 15,861
    2008 17,318

    Clinton was President from Jan ’93 to Jan ’01. The budget numbers during those years look kinda constant to me. Even adjusted for inflation, there is no 31% drop. Budget data source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget

  103. Raving says:

    Tree hugger’s disease strikes NASA yet again.

  104. tokyoboy says:

    So they are not good at their primary job, but are very good at the secondary job?

  105. Geo says:

    Gavin continues to marginalize and stereotype the readers and contributers here.

    [Response: ..........then.... Leave that for the idiots at WUWT. - gavin]

    [Reply: Gavin just has sour grapes about this and this.☺ ~dbs, mod.]

  106. Geo says:

    Gavin continues to marginalize and stereotype the readers and contributers here.

    [Response: ...his rant.......then.... "Leave that for the idiots at WUWT." - gavin]

  107. Arizona CJ says:

    I sincerely hope that this is the last attempt to waste money on the grand boondoggle of AGW, but it won’t be.

    I also darkly ponder another issue; NASA has been cooking the books in climate data sets, so what proof is there that we’d have seen actual data (rather than doctored data with an artificial bias) from these failed satellites, had they worked?

    NASA destroyed their credibility with its climate shenanigans, so IMHO, questioning their trustworthiness regarding actual data is a valid premise.

  108. Chris in Hervey Bay says:

    But, But ,But, it worked OK when we ran the launch thru the CRU modeling supercomputer !!!!

  109. Darren Potter says:

    In a public relations press release, NASA’s Dr. Hansen is attributing the nearly half-Billion dollar Glory’s rocket failure to Global Warming.

  110. Noblesse Oblige says:

    Time to let private industry do the heavy lifting and let NASA tend to outreach programs http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/07/07/nasas_muslim_outreach_106214.html

  111. Regg says:

    Inglorious American superior technology…

    Geee, ask the French, the Russian, the Japanese, or even the Chinese… They got very reliable launcher.

  112. GregO says:

    Can the conspiracy theories.

    Launching a satellite into orbit is tough, full of risk, and far from a sure bet. Great efforts are made to economize. The failure of this mission is heartbreaking.

    http://www.space.com/11027-glory-ious-launch.html

  113. littlepeaks says:

    There were also three amateur-radio satellites aboard this Taurus XL rocket. All were lost. Most of the work on the satellites was by volunteers.

  114. rbateman says:

    March 02, 2011
    Orbital Successfully Launches Patriot Target Vehicle for Missile Defense Test
    February 07, 2011
    Orbital Successfully Launches Minotaur I Rocket for U.S. Air Force
    December 30, 2010
    Orbital-Built KOREASAT 6 Commerical Communications Satellite Successfully Launched

    Event Calendar
    Jan 24-27, 2011 AMS Annual Meeting
    Mar 14-17, 2011 Satellite 2011

    April 20, 2010
    Orbital Applauds President Obama’s New Direction For America’s Civil Space Program

    They don’t seem to have any problems launching for the military, nor do they have any problems with earnings (up) or getting awarded bunches of new contracts.

    They are 100% behind the new direction that the President has tasked NASA with.

    Murphy Strikes Back?

  115. Raving says:

    Dan in California March 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm says:

    Chris R. says: March 4, 2011 at 9:26 am
    I work for a government contracting company, and I worked on NASA contracts at GSFC for many years, ending some 7 years ago.

    The old NASA started to die in 1992, …Clinton cut his budget by 31%. THIRTY_ONE FREAKING PERCENT, no resistance.
    ————————————————-
    Here are NASA annual budgets, in $Billions/year:
    1987 7,591
    1988 9,092 …
    2007 15,861
    2008 17,318

    In a sense those numbers aren’t so bad. The cost of televisions, electronics and vehicles in the intervening years has tumbled relative to the rate of inflation. Moreover performance and reliability have increased remarkably.

    In 1969, the cost of a Saturn V including launch was US $ 185 million (inflation adjusted US$ 1.11 billion in 2011).

    Glory satellite alone valued at US$424 million. During the previous failed Taurus XL launch, the vehicle and services were estimated to have cost $54m.

    As for the OCO mission

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbiting_Carbon_Observatory

    The cost of the mission was US$280 million.

    Three days after the failed February 2009 launch, the OCO science team sent NASA headquarters a proposal to build and launch an OCO “carbon copy”, which planned to have the replacement satellite launched by late 2011.[16] On February 1, 2010, the FY 2010 NASA budget request did include US$170 million for NASA to develop and fly a replacement for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory.

    Gee whiz. I’m not quite sure what to say….

    Is NASA’s contingency plan, a moved up de-orbit of the ISS? That ought to free up a few bucks for ‘Glory Science’. Next on the chopping block are the non-terrestrial planetary mission.

    Looking up and dreaming of the stars has muxed into looking downward to prove the sky is falling.

    I miss the Avro Arrow. The Apollo moon landings peaked too early. Misanthropy sucks.

  116. Douglas DC says:

    Back when we had the promise of a reusable launcher. The DC-X
    Ain’t dead yet BTW.
    Launch and Land like God and Heinlein intended…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_DC-X
    My kind of Four-engine Douglas…

  117. Raving says:

    J Gary Fox says: March 4, 2011 at 6:27 am

    You must be joking. Right?

    For the first time in my life, I feel good about being cynical.

    I must pay envirofascista $100+/month in ‘Smart hydro meter’ Ontario to help develop increasingly unreliable wind blown service. I don’t give a fig about the $billions that NASA throws away.

    Their hubris and vanity puts the smile on my face. It keeps me gloating at every misadventure.

  118. JK says:

    R. Gates says:
    March 4, 2011 at 6:16 am
    Very unfortunate as this satellite could have answered some very important questions. Perhaps it’s time to look for commercial launch companies to take the roll of launching important research satellites.

    Well, it was — NASA contracted with OSC (Orbital Sciences Corporation) for this one.

  119. JPeden says:

    GregO says:
    March 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Can the conspiracy theories.

    Launching a satellite into orbit is tough, full of risk, and far from a sure bet. Great efforts are made to economize. The failure of this mission is heartbreaking.

    Can Hansen instead. What he intends for Humanity, assisted by and under the banner of NASA, and especially for anyone who objects to it, is a little worse than this heartbrake.

  120. JPeden says:

    Geo says:
    March 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Gavin continues to marginalize and stereotype the readers and contributers here.

    [Response: ...his rant.......then.... "Leave that for the idiots at WUWT." - gavin]

    Uh, Kemosabe..him only part of Big Chief Hansenman’s NASA GISS Climate tribe, worship at CO2=CAGW Hockeystick totem, very bent…take Warming Model as squaw….all high on Charlie Sheen….

  121. Larry in Texas says:

    Isn’t it like that old saying from Richard III – for want of a nail? In this case, for want of a few good explosive bolts (or whatever they use to release a protective shell), a multi-billion dollar project goes down the tubes.

    This is why I think everyone at NASA should take a small break from space for a while, de-stress, and figure out how to analyze, manage and perfect the small details again. It is striking out on the small details that have caused all of NASA’s failures in space missions. There is really NO margin for error when it comes to space flight, whether mechanical or manned.

  122. I was finished with NASA when The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) was canceled and it was around the time when “climate change pseudo-political-science of AGW” kicked in.

    As an enthusiast in space exploration, science and astronomy, NASA and the European Space Agency have reached an all time low in my opinion, the majority of science being done seems to based around “Social Anthropology”, “political climate sciences” and all the other so called sciences that are evolved in the monitoring human activity.

    All of which have nothing what so ever to do with space exploration the advancement of science or the well being of mankind, It has now become a pointless inward looking activity, very much involved with political agendas, intertwined with Neo-environmental and Social media stunts, It’s the control of Human Beings these programs are about, I’m calling it like it is!

    It’s not very inspiring to see another satellite sent up there to monitor human emissions of one kind or another in the first place, and it certainly doesn’t give a sense of confidence these space programs either of the monetary cost or the amount of failure involved.
    The whole scientific community seems to be wrapped around information and technology, sitting around playing with models and their expensive super-computers, accumulating thousands of years of data and to be recognized for their peer-reviewed interpretation and who can not be criticized because of how intelligent and important they are (woop de fricken doo).

    There must be a lot of frustrated scientists, Astronomers and engineers in these dark days of the anthropological era of doom, and the forecast of the continued rise of this idiosyncratic society is mirrored by the cost and failure of it’s ventures.

    Young minds today are more inspired by the belief in Aliens and cover up conspiracy’s, Why? because we are not out there exploring the real universe, pushing the boundary’s, they are not involved with the experiences of those who could be in space or discovering what really is out there, instead (sigh…), they are asked to count contrails and blow bubbles, that’s right! exciting times folks.

  123. Lars P says:

    GregO says:
    “Launching a satellite into orbit is tough, full of risk, and far from a sure bet. Great efforts are made to economize. The failure of this mission is heartbreaking. ”
    Two times the same error points in my view to having wrong priorities set. Those who ask NASA to focus on space are possibly pointing at the root cause Greg.
    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=7254
    If some of those mil$ used for GISS studying warming would have been used for the rocket this might have been avoided.

  124. Tom in Florida says:

    I would say there is a 50/50 chance that the launch went as planned and we now have 2 new spy satellites in orbit without anyone being the wiser. If you never hear from me again, it will confirm that I was ri—————————————————–

  125. I was finished with NASA when The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) was canceled and it was around the time when “climate change pseudo-political-science of AGW” kicked in.

    As an enthusiast in space exploration, science and astronomy, NASA and the European Space Agency have reached an all time low in my opinion, the majority of science being done seems to based around “Social Anthropology”, “political climate sciences” and all the other so called sciences that are evolved in the monitoring human activity.

    All of which have nothing what so ever to do with space exploration the advancement of science or the well being of mankind, It has now become a pointless inward looking activity, very much involved with political agendas, intertwined with Neo-environmental and Social media stunts, It’s the control of Human Beings these programs are about, I’m calling it like it is!

    It’s not very inspiring to see another satellite sent up there to monitor human emissions of one kind or another in the first place, and it certainly doesn’t give a sense of confidence these space programs either of the monetary cost or the amount of failure involved.
    The whole scientific community seems to be wrapped around information and technology, sitting around playing with models and their expensive super-computers, accumulating thousands of years of data and to be recognized for their peer-reviewed interpretation and who can not be criticized because of how intelligent and important they are (woop de fricken doo).

    There must be a lot of frustrated scientists, Astronomers and engineers in these dark days of the anthropological era of doom, and the forecast of the continued rise of this idiosyncratic society is mirrored by the cost and failure of it’s ventures.

    Young minds today are more inspired by the belief in Aliens and cover up conspiracy’s, Why? because we are not out there exploring the real universe, pushing the boundary’s, they are not involved with the experiences of those who could be in space or discovering what really is out there, instead (sigh…), they are asked to count contrails and blow bubbles, that’s right! exciting times folks.

    ————————————————————————————-

  126. Blade says:

    Dan in California [March 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm] says:

    “Here are NASA annual budgets, in $Billions/year:
    1987 7,591
    1988 9,092
    1989 11,036
    1990 12,429
    1991 13,878
    1992 13,961
    1993 14,305
    1994 13,695
    1995 13,378
    1996 13,881
    1997 14,360
    1998 14,194
    1999 13,636
    2000 13,428
    2001 14,095
    2002 14,405
    2003 14,610
    2004 15,152
    2005 15,602
    2006 15,125
    2007 15,861
    2008 17,318

    Clinton was President from Jan ’93 to Jan ’01. The budget numbers during those years look kinda constant to me. Even adjusted for inflation, there is no 31% drop…”

    It is likely that what ‘Chris R’ was alluding to was the New Age Math that was used under the regime of Slick Willie Clinton. You may remember that the term cuts was not used to address a decrease in spending from year to year, instead they applied the description to reductions in projected growth! If one year’s welfare spending was 100 billion, and projected the next for 120 billion, but altered to 110 billion, the socialist liberals screamed ‘ THAT’S A CUT!’ The children will starve!

    He probably had the year wrong though as Clinton had a majority socialist Congress until January 1995. I remember the new (R) Congress fighting for and eventually succeeding in balancing the budget, this was done by literally dragging the pervert-in-chief off of Monica Lewinsky while he protested: ‘I’ll balance the budget in 5 years, 10 years, 8 years…” What I remember is NASA budgets (along with many others) were frozen at current spending levels which in a socialist mind, is a cut.

    Also, taking the first Wikipedia number: 7,591 $Billions/year actually means 7.591 Trillion. If those are actually commas then they are $Millions/year. If they were supposed to be decimal points, $Billions/year is correct. Wikipedia fails again (unless they are using some foreign convention inverting commas and decimals, but that makes no sense in an article about USA budgets).

    Third Party [March 4, 2011 at 7:16 am] says:

    “Gavin Schmidt of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science in New York, commenting on the crash on the Real Climate website, “there is a huge hole building in the US contribution to Earth and Sun observing systems.”””

    That little {self-snip} said this? Do we need any further proof that he holds the taxpayer in contempt? Well, for this taxpayer the feeling is completely mutual. Time to up the ante folks, our money is on the line here. Contact your congress-person, name these people by names: Gavin, Hansen, Serreze, etc. Recommend that they be fired and their projects be eliminated. If they need funds they can have a bake sale.

    I’m too tired to look, but I wonder just how much that flying hunk of junk ISS has cost us in total? With a time machine is there anyone who wouldn’t go back and scrub that idea? Zero that funding and all the climate crap, and NASA would have all the money it needed to pursue a fruitful space agenda.

    Just how many short-lived climate gathering instruments do we need up there anyway? I would much rather they have been Pioneers or Voyagers instead. Are we improving our weather forecasting with all these birds or are we just handing toys over to the ecophobic propaganda mill? We have A-Trains of birds looking back here but one Hubble looking out. This is seriously getting out of control.

  127. Tim Clark says:

    Well done NASA. Better stick to temperature measurement….Not

  128. Tenuc says:

    Great shame Glory failed so dismally to live up to its name!

    We badly need good data to monitor climate and the Glory mission would have provided lots of stuff we need. Hope they can get the funding to go for another launch soon.

  129. Mike M says:

    And Murphy was an optimist!

  130. Neo says:

    I’d say that Glory is now “shovel ready”

  131. ew-3 says:

    I’m still having a hard time understanding what goes into a $424,000,000 satellite ?
    Would really like to see an itemized budget. How much for parts ? How much for assembly? How much for test ? I know this stuff is expensive, but $424M for an unmanned satellite?

  132. Mike M says:

    Maybe Hansen homogenized the rocket’s software?

  133. Raving says:

    Great delight Glory succeeded so aptly to live up to its name!

    The public face of Glory Mission Science was inflated to obscene levels of vain righteousness. The karma of its demise is breathtaking.

    (and Yes, I noticed the potential irony. What goes around comes around and goes around again.)

    Quoting …

    J Gary Fox: Crude jokes are not appreciated by those who mourn this loss.

    Can’t see the Glory in a suborbital mission huh? Glory has joined OCO in the “S” train.

  134. Raving says:

    ew-3 says:

    I’m still having a hard time understanding what goes into a $424,000,000 satellite ?

    Paying the pro’phe’t on a $316,000,000 rebuild.

  135. Steve says:

    As 1 of my patrons in my pub said:”it should do a great job of taking measurements from the depths of the pacific”.
    Sell the info to ARGO perhaps??

  136. Smokey says:

    Another ;site with a link to a good Washington Examiner article.

  137. Raving says:

    Tenuc says: Great shame Glory failed so dismally to live up to its name!

    No problem.
    Call the replacement mission Inglourious Basterd

  138. James says:

    Budget Authority ($M) FY 2009 ARRA FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015
    Science 4,503.1 400.0 4,493.3 5,005.6 5,248.6 5,509.6 5,709.8 5,814.0
    Earth Science 1,377.3 325.0 1,420.7 1,801.7 1,944.4 2,089.4 2,216.5 2,282.1
    Space Operations 5,764.7 6,180.6 4,887.8 4,290.2 4,253.3 4,362.6 4,130.5
    Cross‐Agency Support 3,306.4 50.0 3,095.1 3,111.4 3,189.6 3,276.8 3,366.5 3,462.2
    Center Management and Operations 2,024.3 2,067.0 2,273.8 2,347.4 2,427.7 2,509.7 2,594.3

    Bit more from the link kindly provided by ew-3
    You can see the growth items, climate science & bureacracy is all we need in our brave new world.

  139. Topaz says:

    NASA should drop all orbital contracts.

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