NASA's observation satellite fails to reach orbit (2)

11:23, March 05, 2011      

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The status of the flight wasn't immediately clear and flight officials didn't immediately respond to calls for further comment.

Glory was launched on a three-year mission to analyze how airborne particles affect Earth's climate. Besides monitoring particles in the atmosphere, it will also track solar radiation to determine the sun's effect on climate change.

The 424 million U.S. dollar mission is managed by the NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

Friday's launch came after engineers spent more than a week troubleshooting a glitch that led to a last-minute scrub.

Glory was supposed to study tiny atmospheric particles known as aerosols, which reflect and trap sunlight. The vast majority occurs naturally, spewed into the atmosphere by volcanoes, forest fires and desert storms. Aerosols can also come from manmade sources such as the burning of fossil fuel.

Source: Xinhua
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