Orbital Taurus XL Mission Fails to Orbit NASA Glory Satellite
[Satellite TODAY 03-04-11] Orbital Sciences’ Taurus XL 3110 rocket failed to deliver NASA’s Glory climate-monitoring satellite into orbit after a payload fairing on the nose cone of the rocket did not detach properly, NASA announced Mar. 4.
NASA said the launch was nominal through the rocket’s third-stage separation about four-and-a-half minutes into the flight, when tracking stations detected the anomaly on the fairing.
This is the second failure in a row for the Taurus XL rocket. In 2009, a fairing failure caused the loss of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory. The $424 million Glory satellite, also built by Orbital, carried instruments that aimed to study the effects of solar radiance on the Earth‚s climate.
NASA has created an investigation board to evaluate the cause of the failure.