NASA delays launch of satellite to track carbon pollution

July 1, 2014
The United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket with the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite onboard, is seen moments after the launch gantry was moved at the Space Launch Complex 2, Monday, June 30, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

A water flow problem on Tuesday forced the US space agency to postpone the launch of a satellite to track atmospheric carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas.

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 was due to take off atop a Delta 2 rocket at 2:56 am Pacific time (0956 GMT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. But the operation was halted 46 seconds before scheduled liftoff time due to an issue with water flow to the rocket, NASA said.

The on Tuesday was quite short, just 30 seconds.

The timing had to be precise so that the satellite could join the A-Train, a constellation of five other international Earth-observing satellites.

More details on the nature of the problem and a time for the next were expected later Tuesday, NASA commentator George Diller said.

NASA's previous attempts to launch carbon satellites failed in 2009 and 2011.

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