VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – A rocket carrying a NASA satellite designed to track global warming has launched from California five years after the original crashed.
The Delta 2 rocket blasted off into the pre-dawn skies Wednesday over Vandenberg Air Force Base. It is carrying a satellite dedicated to studying carbon dioxide, the chief culprit behind climate change.
The original launch was canceled on Tuesday morning because of an equipment failure.
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.