Tuesday, 24 Feb, 2009 Technology
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Satellite Developed to Track Global Warming Fails to Achieve Orbit

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A satellite launched by NASA to track global warming was unable to separate from the Taurus XL rocket and achieve the orbit.

The spacecraft was carrying Orbiting Carbon Observatory which had to track the sources of carbon dioxide during a two-year mission. It was launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California but shortly after the blast off NASA controllers informed that the mission was in danger.

According to George Diller, a NASA spokesman, there was a problem with the payload, which did not detach properly from the rocket after the launch.

"It appears that there were problems separating," said Mr. Diller, who confirmed that the satellite failed to reach orbit.

"We are still evaluating the status of the location and the exact state," he said. Mr. Diller also mentioned that NASA's launch managers decided to apply an emergency plan, but they still have to work on the details.

It is worth mentioning that the Orbiting Carbon Observatory represents a part of a $280 million mission and it's NASA's first satellite developed with the goal of monitoring CO2 emissions on a global scale.

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