A NASA mission intended to monitor global carbon dioxide emissions
suffered a setback Tuesday when a rocket carrying a satellite did not
An official with the company that built the
satellite, John Brunschwyler of Orbital Sciences Corporation, told a
news conference Tuesday that the rocket landed in the ocean near
Antarctica. He called it a "huge disappointment for the science
NASA says the covering that was over the satellite to
protect it during launch did not come off as planned. The added weight
prevented it from reaching orbit.
The U.S. space agency says the
spacecraft was designed to measure carbon dioxide in Earth's
atmosphere. The gas has been blamed for global climate change.
would have analyzed the data to better understand the natural processes
and human activities that contribute to the amount and distribution of
the gas. Experts could have then started to quantify where greenhouse
gas is coming from and where it is going.
Last month, Japan
launched the world's first satellite to monitor greenhouse gas
emissions as part of global efforts to combat climate change.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.