Failure to Launch: NASA's Glory Goes Into the Pacific
NASA's "Glory Mission" early this morning ended up, unfortunately, a wash, as the atmospheric research mission satellite launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base is thought to have wound up in the Pacific.
What happened? NASA says "the rocket and the satellite failed to separate as they hurtled into space and without the breakaway, the rocket and satellite were to heavy to reach orbit," reports NPR. The launch got underway at 2:09:03 a.m. local time. Six seconds later, it was over.
The failure comes with a $424 million price tag, explains CNET, and is "the second in a row for the Orbital Sciences booster following the 2009 loss of another environmental satellite due to a similar nose cone malfunction."
Mike Luther of the Science Mission Directorate says the mission's failure is “quite painful,” notes the Toronto Star. Adds Luther: “We’re all pretty devastated, but we will recover.”
Part of the recovery for NASA is quite literal: They'll need to gather all the pieces of the Glory from the Pacific to continue the investigation into this morning's failure to launch.