NASA launches carbon satellite after 2009 failure

In this Monday, June 30, 2014, photo released by NASA, shows NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, awaiting launch at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California. The launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket is scheduled for Wednesday, July 2 at 2:56 a.m. PDT (5:56 a.m. EDT) from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif. (AP Photo/NASA, Randy Beaudoin,VAFB)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — 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.

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