4 comments on “OCO Lost

  1. Yes, it really is a tragic loss. However, didn’t the Japanese (jaxa) sent a similar spacecraft a few weeks ago?

    BTW, the payload fairing basically protects the spacecraft while the launch vehicle is still plowing though Earth’s atmosphere. Once ‘outside’ the atmosphere (i.e., once the atm. pressure is below some threshold), the fairing is jettisoned.

  2. Are you talking about the Ibuki sat? The OCO satellite was a long time coming, they happened to overlap in development. IF OCO had made it to orbit, having two sats doing a wide array of atmospheric carbon measurements would provide incredibly detailed information more so than just having one — also allowing each to crosscheck the other — a good thing scientifically. I’m not completely familiar with IBUKI’s constraints and sensitivities, however.

    Yes, I know what the fairing does. My point was really that a fairing issue shouldn’t be a risk — it’s a well-developed technology. This is a mistake that could have been avoided unless there was some kind of damage during launch. Or, some human error (wilful or mistaken) in assembly of the stack. We’ll have to wait and see what the investigation committee comes up with.

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