Launch of carbon-seeking satellite is unsuccessful

NASA is investigating the reason for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory failure.Provided by NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
By | Published: February 24, 2009 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Carbon observatory launch
NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory and its Taurus booster liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base. A contingency was declared a few minutes later.
Orbital Sciences Corporation
February 24, 2009
NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite failed to reach orbit after its 4:55 a.m. EST liftoff Tuesday, February 24, from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Preliminary indications are that the fairing on the Taurus XL launch vehicle failed to separate. The fairing is a clamshell structure that encapsulates the satellite as it travels through the atmosphere.

A mishap investigation board will be immediately convened to determine the cause of the launch failure.