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Nasa cancels satellite launch with just 46 seconds to go

The spacecraft will orbit at 705 kilometres above Earth and will provide the first complete picture of the effects of climate change.

The Nasa satellite shortly before it was due to take off.
The Nasa satellite shortly before it was due to take off.
Image: Nasa

NASA HAD TO cancel plans to launch a new satellite into space today to measure the effects of climate change on Earth.

The spacecraft was due to launch at 5.56am (10.56am GMT) today from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. However the launched was cancelled with just 46 seconds to go.

Nasa said that there was a failure in the launch pad water flow. There had been a window of just 30 seconds where the satellite would be able to  launch.

The launch will instead take place later this week.

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory is Nasa’s first spacecraft dedicated solely to making observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide from space.

Nasa said it will provide the first complete picture of the effects of climate change in different continents and the seasonal variations.

“Now that humans are acknowledging the environmental effects of our dependence on fossil fuels and other carbon dioxide-emitting activities, our goal is to analyse the sources and sinks of this carbon dioxide and find better ways to manage it,” said Gregg Marland, a professor in the geology department of Appalachian State

Its mission will last two years at a total cost of $467 million (around €340 million).

The floating observatory will fly at around 705 kilometres above Earth, completing an orbit every 98.8 minutes. It will take 24 measurements every second, which will work out at about a million per day.

Read: Nasa’s flying saucer tests new Mars-landing technology > 

Read: Ever wonder what lightning on Earth looks like from space?  >

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