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OCO Launch "Contingency"
brellis
post Feb 24 2009, 10:21 AM
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NASA-TV reports the third stage failed to separate. Press conference in two hours.
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brellis
post Feb 24 2009, 10:34 AM
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NASA report
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ugordan
post Feb 24 2009, 11:02 AM
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QUOTE (brellis @ Feb 24 2009, 11:21 AM) *
NASA-TV reports the third stage failed to separate.


"payload fairing failed to separate"

Apparent loss of mission, no useful orbit achieved.


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brellis
post Feb 24 2009, 11:13 AM
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The folks at MC looked so sad on NASA-TV, I had to turn it off. spacetoday article
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Stu
post Feb 24 2009, 11:33 AM
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Bottom line: launching rockets always has been and always will be a risky business. So many different things that can go wrong, and any one of them might prove catastrophic. But if you don't try, you don't fly. The science team must be absolutely gutted to see all their hard work lost so suddenly and so publicly. My sympathies - and I hope everyone else's - to them, if any of them are lurking here.


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Stu
post Feb 24 2009, 01:10 PM
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Briefing on NASA TV now

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/nasa/index.html


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djellison
post Feb 24 2009, 01:33 PM
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Off topic posts removed.
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Tom Womack
post Feb 24 2009, 01:42 PM
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QUOTE (ugordan @ Feb 24 2009, 11:02 AM) *
"payload fairing failed to separate"

Apparent loss of mission, no useful orbit achieved.


At least the Japanese Ibuki satellite seems to have launched successfully, and as far as I can tell it's doing much the same mission as OCO; I don't know what's lost by having only one set of CO2 measurements, but one is a lot better than zero.
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MahFL
post Feb 24 2009, 02:48 PM
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The latest report says it ended up in the ocean. sad.gif
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ugordan
post Feb 24 2009, 02:54 PM
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Short of Antarctica, to be exact.


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tedstryk
post Feb 25 2009, 01:21 AM
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Sad indeed. Not as disappointing as the loss of Contour, but only because I had never heard of it until reading of the launch failure, so I wasn't anticipating anything.


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brellis
post Feb 25 2009, 02:28 AM
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On NASA-TV's broadcast, everything was "nominal" through the first two stages. Just when I started relaxing, their expressions all changed. A bunch of our "best and brightest" just saw the next several years of their lives change at that moment.

I hope part of the "Contingency" involves rebuilding this important observatory.
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imipak
post Feb 25 2009, 08:15 PM
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Massive suckage sad.gif

ISTR that commercial satellite launches are insured - if the launcher goes bang, the payload owners get a payout which goes some way, at least, towards rebuilding the lost spacecraft. I'm guessing NASA don't do that?


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briv1016
post Feb 27 2009, 07:01 AM
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How many months before we know what happened?
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elakdawalla
post Feb 27 2009, 03:58 PM
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QUOTE (imipak @ Feb 25 2009, 12:15 PM) *
ISTR that commercial satellite launches are insured - if the launcher goes bang, the payload owners get a payout which goes some way, at least, towards rebuilding the lost spacecraft. I'm guessing NASA don't do that?

No, NASA (and all other space agencies as far as I know) are "self-insured," i.e. rather than buy commercial insurance, they are simply aware of risks and prepared for the fact that they'll have to absorb costs for occasional failures. If you're a big enough entity, dealing with relatively risky stuff, it's much more efficient to self-insure. (Or, basically, the entire American tax base is NASA's insurer.)

--Emily


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