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By Geoffrey Mohan, Los Angeles Times

NASA scrubbed the launch of a Delta II rocket Tuesday, 46 seconds before it was to carry the agency’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 satellite into orbit.

The space agency blamed a failure of the water suppression system of the liftoff pad at Vandenberg Air Force Station.

The launch has been tentatively rescheduled for Wednesday.

Five years ago, the first version of the satellite was destroyed after it failed to separate from its launch vehicle, an Orbital Taurus XL rocket, and burned up as it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere. The cost of that mission was $209 million, according to a NASA investigation.

The $465 million replacement set to launch Wednesday would measure and map carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to provide scientists with a better understanding of how Earth’s oceans, soils and forests absorb CO2, and whether that ability is changing, according to the space agency.

The satellite’s nickname, OCO, comes from the scientific annotation for a carbon dioxode molecule — two oxygen atoms flanking a carbon atom in linear fashion.

Photo: Luke Bryant via Flickr

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Political Spending At Trump Properties Plunges Sharply

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

The number of federal political committees that have spent money in the first half of 2021 at Trump Organization properties has dropped dramatically from the same period two years ago, Federal Election Commission filings show. Those continuing to spend: a smaller circle of loyal supporters of former President Donald Trump and candidates jockeying for his favor in contested Republican primaries.

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