Red faces at Nasa as Glory satellite crashes into the ocean

Not exactly the best craft to lose, considering it's primary mission. After a pretty good launch rate for NASA lately, this is a setback. :-(

I wonder if they could have provided a little extra lift to this, just in case it was needed, and how much extra cost that would have entailed. Maybe they're cutting too many corners on these missions.

RIP Glory ...

[Red faces at NASA as Glory satellite crashes into the ocean] - March 5, 2011 - Mailonline

A rocket carrying the Glory Earth-observing satellite launched yesterday but failed to place the satellite into orbit, sending both plummeting into the Pacific.

NASA said a protective covering on the Taurus XL rocket did not separate as planned three minutes after launch at 2.09am local time ... cont. at link above

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/03/04/article-1362930-0D77E435000005DC-119_634x848.jpg

> I wonder if they could have provided a
> little extra lift ....

And someone with a prybar to bust the fairing off once they got the top stage into orbit?

I read in the NYT that the earlier failure used cold nitrogen to release the fairing, so for this one they switched to a hot nitrogen system used on another Orbital Sciences rocket -- but they didn't say how much was changed. Seems like something didn't get changed that should've.

Made me wonder if it'd be worthwhile to insist contractually that companies, when they modify their lifter, agree to a test launch of a cheap useful payload (water ice, a load of sun-shade or micrometeorite shielding, whatever) -- so if it succeeds the stuff could be stored on orbit and used later), and if it fails, less is lost.

Yeah, a live test would double the cost of the first launch. But losing the satellite has--literally--sunk far more costs.

A hydrazine system? Something like the future MSL Rover Curiousity is planned to use for descent?
Has anyone done the research on this fairing technique release mechanism? Sounds a little like a return to the early days of try and adapt, from the fifties and sixties.
It would be a pleasant experience to hear a short treatise from each responsible person in the industry when items don't work as planned.
My work days were filled with compensating for bad production conduct by others around myself for a large part of my life. It is a creepy, spine chilling encyclopedia of recollection, to wonder what passes through the final hours of each persons mind after a day of construction, or production, or, for that matter, politics and bureaucratic judgment.

Private industry will have to be the finest craftspersons to survive in the space industry.

Watching the the early Apollo docking preparation flights on the educational TV channel a couple days past, brings back memories that weren't really detailed in my mind in the 1960's. The fairings and other parts were always being studied for failure aspects.

This one was too important to screw up.

I'm sure the fossil fuel industry is jumping for joy.