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Taurus XL experiences anomaly

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Taurus XL rocket equipped with NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite  launches at 1:55 a.m. Feb. 24 from the 576th-E Space Launch Complex here.  This was Vandenberg's second launch of the year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Taurus XL rocket equipped with NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite launches at 1:55 a.m. Feb. 24 from the 576th-E Space Launch Complex here. This was Vandenberg's second launch of the year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg and NASA officials experienced an anomaly minutes after the 1:55 a.m. launch of a Taurus XL rocket equipped with NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite today from the 576th-E Space Launch Complex here.

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

A mishap investigation board will immediately be convened to determine the cause of the launch failure. 

For more information, go to http://www.nasa.gov.