A press conference on the failure started on NASA TV at 2 p.m. Central European Time i.e. 5 a.m. Californian Time. It's over but I have watched it for you.
The protective shell of the Taurus XL rocket failed to separate about three minutes after the launch. Consequently, the rocket failed to reach the orbit. At a cosmic speed, it dropped from the height of many kilometers to the sea near Antarctica so unluckily that it was destroyed. ;-)
The U.S. taxpayers threw $424 million to the Southern Pacific Ocean in three minutes (if you care, the spending rate is $74 trillion per year, five times the U.S. GDP). And they thought that the failed attempt to launch Glory on February 23rd - which was suspended due to a failure in the ground equipment - was the biggest scandal.
From a broader perspective, the most likely cause of the debacle was that NASA hasn't been able to eliminate the influence of the NASA's climate people on the project. With idiots like that walking around and talking (all of them are required to be stupid enough to believe global warming), the project was doomed from the start.
Imagine the likes of Gavin Schmidt and James Hansen teaching the rocket scientists what to do and it shouldn't have been hard to predict the result.
But what I find amazing is the inability of those particular people to learn from their past mistakes. Two years ago, another NASA climate crackpots' pet project, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO), was destroyed when the payload fairing of the Taurus XL rocket which was carrying it failed to separate during ascent. See TRF 2009.
The previous paragraph is not a typo. The cause of the debacle is absolutely identical. The only difference is that the cost of OCO was $280 million while the cost of Glory was exactly 50 percent higher. In total, $0.7 billion was splashed into the toilet. It sounds as a lot but it's just 1-2 percent of the money wasted in the recent decade or two by the world's governments for climate crackpots who call themselves scientists.
You know, when these people are being repeatedly shown that their climate models don't work, they just ignore it because there are lots of Al Gores and similar immoral junk in the world who won't ever hesitate to defend and repeat any lie that is convenient for them. When the same policy of not listening, not learning, and not watching the real world is applied in the satellite industry, well, rockets are inevitably ending in the ocean.
Much like the Islamists, people who believe in the climate threat should be protected from the rockets because they're simply too dangerous toys for too stupid children.
See an article by Hank Campbell, a blogospherical boss of a large number of far left-wing science bloggers (including Tommaso Dorigo) at his Science 2.0 server, called Were Republicans Smart All Along? He praises most of the Republicans for distinguishing "climate change", which is almost tautologically right, and "global warming", which they remained skeptical about.
For the sloppy liberals, the two terms were indistinguishable.
The developments in the last decade - including the weather that hasn't really warmed up - seems to confirm the GOP folks were wise and it unmasked the uncritical promoters of the climate panic - especially many of the Democrats - as irrational zealots.
Campbell emphasizes that the Republicans are surely able to understand science (even when it disproves some beliefs that have been held for centuries), especially as demonstrated by their ability to comprehend that the climate is changing, but that this statement may be generalized in many different (correct and incorrect) ways. As a result, he recommends the science communicators some humility: they're surely not guaranteed to be "permanently wiser".
It hasn't yet been confirmed whether the left-wing inkspillers on his server (and many other servers) have already confirmed the observations by their boss that they have been acting as blinded and pushy idiots for many years.
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