Launch Information

    Spacecraft: Orbiting Carbon Observatory
    Launch Vehicle: Orbital Sciences Taurus Rocket
    Launch Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
    Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 576-E
    Launch Date: Feb. 24, 2009
    Launch Time: 1:55:31 a.m. PST (4:55:30 a.m. EST)

    OCO Launches, Fails to Reach Orbit

    A Taurus rocket launches the OCO satellite Image: A Taurus XL rocket lifts off from its launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Feb. 24. Image credit: Courtesy of Orbital Sciences Corporation
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    NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory launched Feb. 24, 2009 aboard a Taurus XL rocket, departing from Launch Complex 576-E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Following the 4:55:31 a.m. EST liftoff, the launch ultimately failed and the spacecraft did not reach orbit after its protective fairing did not separate properly during ascent.

    Liftoff occurred on the first attempt for the launch team and capped off a relatively smooth overnight countdown.

    The four-stage Taurus XL rocket, built by Orbital Sciences Corp., is designed to place a payload weighing up to 3,000 pounds into low-Earth orbit. It is a ground-launched version of the company's air-launched Pegasus rocket.

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