Earth Science: February 2009 Archives

NASA's Launch Of Carbon-Seeking Satellite Is Unsuccessful

"NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite failed to reach orbit after its 4:55 a.m. EST liftoff Tuesday from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. Preliminary indications are that the fairing on the Taurus XL launch vehicle failed to separate. The fairing is a clamshell structure that encapsulates the satellite as it travels through the atmosphere. A Mishap Investigation Board will be immediately convened to determine the cause of the launch failure."

NASA satellite mission to monitor carbon dioxide fails, AFP

"The satellite was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a Taurus XL rocket, at 1:55 am (0951 GMT), live images on NASA TV showed. It was the first time NASA has used a Taurus rocket, built by Orbital Science Corp., the US space agency said in a statement posted Monday on its website."

Former astronaut speaks out on global warming, Boston Herald

"Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon and once served New Mexico in the U.S. Senate, doesn't believe that humans are causing global warming. "I don't think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect," said Schmitt, who is among 70 skeptics scheduled to speak next month at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York. Schmitt contends that scientists "are being intimidated" if they disagree with the idea that burning fossil fuels has increased carbon dioxide levels, temperatures and sea levels. "They've seen too many of their colleagues lose grant funding when they haven't gone along with the so-called political consensus that we're in a human-caused global warming," Schmitt said."

NOAA-N Prime Environmental Satellite Successfully Launched

"NOAA-19 is in a nominal orbit with all spacecraft systems functioning properly," stated Wayne McIntyre, the NASA POES Project Manager. "The NASA/NOAA partnership continues to produce enormous results with environmental missions, now exceeding more than three decades."

NOAA-N-Prime Satellite Mishap Investigation Report Released

"Proximate Cause: The NOAA N-PRIME satellite fell because the LMSSC operations team failed to follow procedures to properly configure the TOC, such that the 24 bolts that were needed to secure the TOC adapter plate to the TOC were not installed."

Video Below: NOAA-N Prime (NOAA 19) Mission

NOAA-N Launch Delayed Again

NOAA-N Prime Launch Rescheduled for Friday

"The launch of the NOAA-N Prime weather satellite for NASA and NOAA aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket has been postponed for an additional 24 hours. A payload fairing air conditioning compressor at the launch pad has failed. This unit provides cool, dry air inside the fairing prior to launch."

Troubled NOAA-N Prime Ready For Launch, earlier post
NOAA-N-Prime Satellite Mishap Investigation Report Released, earlier post

Busy Day For Google

NASA and Google Launch Virtual Exploration of Mars, NASA

"NASA and Google announced Monday the release of a new Mars mode in Google Earth that brings to everyone's desktop a high-resolution, three-dimensional view of the Red Planet. Besides providing a rich, immersive 3D view of Mars that will aid public understanding of Mars science, the new mode, Google Mars 3D, also gives researchers a platform for sharing data similar to what Google Earth provides for Earth scientists."

Google Earth 5 Released - 3D Ocean and More!, Google

"Today Google has released a major new version of Google Earth - Version 5. Clearly this new release merits moving up to the next version number. It contains a wealth of new data and features and has substantial new interface changes. This is exciting stuff!!"

NOAA-N Prime Atop Delta II Rocket Ready For Launch Feb. 4

"The launch of the NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 4."

NOAA-N-Prime Satellite Mishap Investigation Report Released

"Proximate Cause: The NOAA N-PRIME satellite fell because the LMSSC operations team failed to follow procedures to properly configure the TOC, such that the 24 bolts that were needed to secure the TOC adapter plate to the TOC were not installed."

Earth Science Missions Anomaly Report: GOES/POES Program/POES Project: 6 Sep 2003

"As the NOAA-N Prime spacecraft was being repositioned from vertical to horizontal on the "turn over cart" at approximately 7:15 PDT today, it slipped off the fixture, causing severe damage. (See attached photo). The 18' long spacecraft was about 3' off the ground when it fell."

Editor's note: I'd be willing to bet that this satellite operates flawlessly ....


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