artist concept of Orbiting Carbon Observatory
Artist concept of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory. Image credit: NASA/JPL
PASADENA -- NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite failed to reach orbit after its 1:55 a.m. PST liftoff Tuesday from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Preliminary indications are that the fairing on the Taurus XL launch vehicle failed to separate. The fairing is a clamshell structure that encapsulates the satellite as it travels through the atmosphere.

A Mishap Investigation Board will be immediately convened to determine the cause of the launch failure.

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Alan Buis 818-653-8339
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Steve Cole 202-657-2194
NASA Headquarters, Washington

George Diller 805-605-3051
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.