I recently wrote about the Glory satellite mission [LINK]. Early this morning, the rocket carrying Glory to orbit was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Unfortunately Glory will only be studying the particles in the south Pacific, because the rocket was unable to attain orbit and crashed into the ocean. [LINK]. This is very similar, at least superficially, to the failure of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, which I also blogged about [LINK]. This is supposed to be the "golden age" of satellite observations of the climate system, but it is hard to believe when we struggle to get the satellites into orbit. Glory has been over a decade in the making, and I imagine there are a lot of people around the country right now who are wondering what they are going to do in the next couple of years.
There may be hope, though. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 is a go, scheduled to be put into orbit in February 2013. Except that they are planning to use yet another Taurus rocket [LINK]. So, yeah.
RealClimate also picked up this story [LINK].