POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 10:19am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:23pm

NASA has trouble with early morning rocket launch.

A new satellite designed to study the earth's carbon levels launched Tuesday morning failed to separate from its rocket.

The mishap means the orbiting carbon observatory launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California failed to reach its orbit.

NASA says the satellite did not separate from the rocket after take-off and the failure could jeopardize its mission to better understand climate change.

The satellite was supposed to have collected data about carbon dioxide and is meant to help scientists better forecast global climate change.

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