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Carbon Dioxide-Measuring Satellite Launch Aborted Due To a Technical Problem

Update Date: Jul 02, 2014 08:49 AM EDT
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The Delta 2 rocket carrying the OCO-2 spacecraft, that was set to launch on July 1, did not get off its launch pad due to a problem with the pad's water system. 

The problem was noticed less than a minute before the liftoff was expected. 

The launch window was only 30 seconds so mission controllers couldn't analyze the issue and get the United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket carrying the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) spacecraft back on track for launch. 

"It's a bit of a disappointment for the launch team when you have a great countdown up to that point," Tim Dunn, NASA launch controller said during the NASA TV broadcast. "However, these are things that we prepare for. We're a professional team. We know how to handle this."

Mission controllers won't know exactly what happened with the water system until they are able to safely get out to the launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California later today, Dunn added, according to Scientific American

Possibly the team will be able to attempt the launch again as early as possible. 

The $465 million mission is devoted to monitoring Earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide. Once the satellite goes in the space, it will take measurements of the planet's carbon dioxide 24 times each second. 

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