U.S. earth-observation satellite crashes into Pacific Ocean (3)

11:25, March 05, 2011      

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The 424 million U.S. dollar mission is managed by the NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Virginia, is the launch service provider of the four-stage Taurus XL rocket and is also the builder of the Glory satellite for Goddard.

"It's a pretty tough time for all of us," an executive from Orbital Sciences told the press conference. "We have many professionals. We will recover. We will bounce back."

Although NASA has lost Glory mission, Michael Luther, NASA's deputy associate administrator for program, told the conference that the U.S. space agency will continue to launch "more than a dozen missions in the next 10 years" to contribute to the understanding of earth.

This was the second failure in a row for a Taurus XL rocket. NASA's 273-million-dollar Orbiting Carbon Observatory was lost in a launch failure on Feb. 24, 2009, when it suffered a similar nose cone fairing failure.

Orbital Sciences redesigned the system in the wake of that failure and it has flown successfully three times since then on the company's Minotaur rocket.

Source: Xinhua
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