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 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.
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” 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.
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.