A NASA rocket failed after liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base Feb. 24, ending a $274 million global-warming exploration mission.
The 95-foot-tall rocket built by Orbital Sciences Corp. blasted off from Space Launch Complex-576 E at about 2 a.m., but something went wrong several minutes into the flight when the rocket’s nose cone apparently didn’t separate properly, said Chuck Dovale, NASA launch director, at a press conference.
The rocket and its cargo likely landed “just short of Antarctica in the ocean,” he added.
The space booster carried NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory, the agency’s first spacecraft dedicated to getting space-based measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
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