NASA scraps global warming rocket launch

The $468 million mission is designed to study the main driver of climate change emitted from smokestacks and tailpipes. Some of the carbon dioxide is sucked up by trees and oceans, and the rest is lofted into the atmosphere, trapping the sun's heat and warming the planet. (AP Photo/NASA)
The $468 million mission is designed to study the main driver of climate change emitted from smokestacks and tailpipes. Some of the carbon dioxide is sucked up by trees and oceans, and the rest is lofted into the atmosphere, trapping the sun's heat and warming the planet. (AP Photo/NASA)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, California (AP) — The planned launch of a rocket carrying a NASA satellite designed to track global warming has been postponed.

NASA writes in a tweet that the countdown was stopped at 46 seconds because of a failure in the launch pad water flow. A message left with NASA was not returned.

The Delta 2 rocket was supposed to launch early Tuesday over Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The rocket is the second try for NASA. In 2009, the space agency launched a replica satellite aboard a smaller and cheaper Taurus XL rocket. Minutes after liftoff, the rocket crashed into the ocean off Antarctica.

Investigators later determined a piece of rocket hardware protecting the satellite did not separate as planned, preventing the satellite from reaching orbit.

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