|Launch site||Vandenberg Air Force Base, USA|
|Description||Second stage partial failure|
|Payload||QuikTOMS, OrbView 4|
|Desired orbit||Low-Earth orbit|
Orbital president J R Thompson said during a conference call that an actuator drive shaft seized up after the second stage of the Taurus ignited. The actuator, which controls the steering mechanism for the second stage engine, started working again after five seconds and the rocket went back on course.
Those five seconds, however, made the vehicle lose so much energy that the payloads did not end up in stable orbits and probably burnt up during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
The four-stage, ground-launched Taurus had made five successful launches since 1994, putting nine satellites into orbit.