Vandenberg AFB

Launch failure still unexplained

2013-02-26T00:05:00Z Launch failure still unexplainedStaff report Santa Ynez Valley News
February 26, 2013 12:05 am  • 

A group of experts investigating the launch failure of a NASA climate satellite in 2011 has failed to come up with a reason.  

The Glory satellite plummeted into the Pacific shortly after lifting off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The panel’s report, released Wednesday, found the rocket’s clamshell-shaped covering over the satellite never fully opened, but the experts said they were unable to determine why. The covering surrounds the satellite and protects it as it flies through the atmosphere.

The loss of the $424 million mission was an embarrassment for NASA, which similarly lost another climate satellite in 2009.

The rocket was a Taurus XL from Orbital Sciences Corp.

NASA released only a summary of the accident report, citing U.S. security regulations and proprietary company information.

Copyright 2015 Santa Ynez Valley News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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