Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a launch and space systems company, is preparing for the second of two dedicated Electron launches to deploy a constellation of storm monitoring satellites for NASA.
After successfully launching the first pair of small satellites earlier this month from New Zealand, NASA and Rocket Lab are now targeting no earlier than 12 a.m. EDT Thursday, May 25 (4 p.m. NZST), to launch the second pair of storm tracking CubeSats into orbit.
The agency’s TROPICS (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) mission will launch aboard a Rocket Lab Electron from Launch Complex 1 Pad B in Māhia, New Zealand.
Rocket Lab will provide live coverage beginning approximately 20 minutes before launch. Coverage will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, the agency’s website, and Rocket Lab’s website.
This observing system offers an unprecedented combination of horizontal and temporal resolution to measure environmental and inner-core conditions for tropical cyclones (TCs) on a nearly global scale and is a profound leap forward in the temporal resolution of several key parameters needed for detailed study of high-impact meteorological events (TCs being the primary emphasis in this proposal). TROPICS will demonstrate that a constellation approach to Earth science can provide improved resolution, configurable coverage (tropics, near global, or global), flexibility, reliability, and launch access at extremely low cost, thereby serving as a model for future missions.