The Glory satellite lifted off from California on a mission to gather new data on factors that influence the climate.
As these pictures show, about six minutes into the flight officials became aware of a problem.
Glory's protective fairing on the rocket had not detached, making the vehicle too heavy and therefore too slow to achieve its intended 700km orbit.
for MUST SEE VIDEO LINK FROM BBC
Also see: All-Too-Familiar Rocket Failure Dooms NASA Climate Mission
by Richard A. Kerr, sciencemag.org
Nasa's attempt to launch its latest Earth observation mission has ended in failure.