EARTH: A day without glory

PDF versionPDF version

On a clear night in March, engineers and researchers gathered in Southern California and tuned into NASA TV to watch the launch of Glory, a potential game-changer in the climate change debate. Glory, a satellite a decade in the making, was designed to deliver critical information about small airborne particles called aerosols. The elusive particles account for much of the uncertainty in climate models, and data from the satellite would have helped scientists determine more of the aerosols' key properties than ever before. Instead, just minutes after launch, the rocket carrying Glory into space failed catastrophically and Glory's remains crashed into the southern Pacific Ocean near Antarctica. What happened? "In A Day Without Glory" in the September issue, EARTH explores how Glory came to be, what scientists hoped it would show us, and ultimately, how it failed. The loss was heartbreaking.

Press Release PDF: