Update: We now have a full story on this morning’s accident.
NASA’s Glory spacecraft crashed today shortly after liftoff at 10:09:43 AM GMT from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Early reports say that the satellite’s protective shell, known as the fairing, apparently did not separate from the Taurus XL rocket that was carrying it into orbit. The probe is presumed to have crashed somewhere in the icy waters of Antarctica.
As we reported in January, Glory’s main job was to take direct measurements of solar output.
The accident appears to be very similar to that of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory in 2009, which was also launched on a Taurus XL.
Image: NASA TV