New NASA Climate Research Satellite Crash Lands On Earth

February 24, 2009

Antarctica (ChattahBox) – The protective shroud of the NASA global warming satellite, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, has crash landed in Antarctica, after failing to separate after launch.

The Observatory, valued at $273.4 million dollars, was launched at 4:55 AM ET, from California. It was hoped to send back data on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and give details on the effects of global warming.

About three minutes into the launch, it was clear that something had gone horribly wrong. The outer shell, or payload fairing, which is fixed along the outside of the craft to keep it safe during launch, never separated and dropped from the satellite.

The extra weight kept it from accelerating, and caused it to plummet back to Earth.

“Our whole team at a very personal level is disappointed in the events of this morning,” John Brunschwyler, the project manager, said at an official briefing on the event. “It’s very hard.”

NASA is set to launch an investigation into the cause of the malfunction.  The loss of the the Orbiting Carbon Observatory is a blow to global climate research after eight years of development to ready the satellite for launch. Researchers were counting on the observatory to provide definitive answers to questions surrounding Earth’s natural carbon dioxide cycle, as well as how the planet processes the 8 billion tons of greenhouse gas each year.


One Response to “New NASA Climate Research Satellite Crash Lands On Earth”

  1. Linda on February 24th, 2009 6:34 pm

    I am sure everyone is very disappointed. Are they going to be able to recover the satellite?

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