Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Carbon Dioxide Monitoring Mission Scrubbed

A fairing failed to separate thus preventing the satellite from deploying. It was essentially trapped inside its rocket. Now what's left of it is scrap at the bottom of the ocean. What a convenient failure! These things do happen, but not normally using expensive throwaway boosters such as these. It's just too costly a failure. Normally there would be insurance to cover the loss, but this is the government. Well, the satellite and booster contractors got a nice monetary gift from their work, and the scientists got screwed. I wonder what results they were expecting, and who had the most to lose from those results (like the United States and China). It doesn't take a genius to work this out. I don't usually believe in conspiracies, but ...

Most engineering failures are due to human errors, and this one may be as well. Why did it happen to a science mission that had huge political repercussions though? If volcanoes are pumping the majority of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere rather than mankind (in other words, the human contribution is negligible), and the biosphere couldn't absorb it all, this mission would have proved the anthropogenic climate change proponents wrong. Or, it might have vindicated them and finally shut up the critics. But it will be many years before a successor mission will be launched now, if ever.

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Comments:
Yep, and to think NASA instead wants to dedicate most of its effort to fly to the Moon as a staging post for the big Mars push.

What priorities.

Pete
 
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