NASA's observation satellite fails to reach orbit

11:23, March 05, 2011      

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NASA's earth-observation satellite failed to reach orbit after being launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday.

The latest reports showed that NASA believes the Taurus XL rocket carrying NASA's Glory satellite splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after the failed launch.

NASA said in a statement that telemetry indicated that the protective shell atop the rocket, which lifted off about 2:10 a.m. PST (1010 GMT), did not separate as expected about three minutes after launch.

That left the Glory spacecraft without the velocity to reach orbit, NASA launch commentator George Diller said.

"The flight was going well until the time of fairing separation," Diller said, "We did not have a successful fairing separation from the Taurus and there was insufficient velocity with the fairing still on for the vehicle to achieve orbit."

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