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NASA: Rocket probably in ocean after failed launch

Mar 4, 2011 8:23:00 AM - thestate.com
It looks like the rocket carrying an Earth-observation satellite was in the Pacific Ocean after a failed launch attempt early Friday, NASA said.

The Taurus XL rocket carrying NASA's Glory satellite lifted off around 2:10 a.m. PST from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

But NASA said in a brief statement that a protective shell or fairing atop the rocket did not separate from the satellite as it should have about three minutes after the 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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