$424 Million NASA Rocket Fails To Make Orbit, Crashes Into Sea

NASA has a hard time getting funding these days, and this incident doesn’t look like it will help the cause. A nine-story rocket, named Glory, carrying an Earth-observation satellite failed to reach orbit and fell back to earth.

NASA blames a protective shell on the top of the rocket that didn’t separate. The entire cost of the mission was $424 million, but that included research and development, parts were certainly less.

“NASA has begun the process of creating a Mishap Investigation Board to evaluate the cause of the failure,” NASA said. “The launch proceeded as planned from its liftoff at 2:09 a.m. PST through the ignition of the Taurus XL’s second stage.”

The Taurus XL hasn’t been a good rocket for NASA — this is the second time it failed. The rocket is built by Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, VA.

[via LA Times]