by Staff Writers
Mahia, New Zealand (SPX) May 25, 2023
Rocket Lab USA, Inc., a publicly traded company listed on Nasdaq as RKLB, is eagerly gearing up for the imminent launch of its second dedicated Electron mission, aiming to release a network of storm-tracking satellites for NASA. The mission, christened "Coming To A Storm Near You", is slated for a no earlier than 16:00 NZST lift-off on May 25th, to be carried out from Launch Complex 1 on the picturesque Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand.
This launch follows a strict timetable, with the window opening at 16:00 NZST, May 25th; 04:00 UTC, May 25th; 00:00 EDT, May 25th; and 21:00 PDT, May 24th. It signals Rocket Lab's continued commitment to NASA's TROPICS (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) project. This is the second of two such missions, with the first having taken place successfully on May 8th NZST.
Each mission aims to deliver a duo of shoebox-sized satellites to a low Earth orbit, where they will embark on the crucial task of gathering granular tropical storm data. This data is intended to be more frequent than what other weather satellites currently provide, thereby augmenting our understanding of lethal storms and refining tropical cyclone forecasting.
The TROPICS CubeSats are specifically destined for an orbit at an altitude of 550 kilometers with an inclination of approximately 30 degrees. All four satellites from both missions need to reach their operational orbit within a 60-day window, ahead of the 2023 North American storm season which kicks off in June.
Expressing the significance and pride associated with this mission, Rocket Lab's founder and CEO, Peter Beck, commented, "The TROPICS constellation has the potential to save lives and advance our understanding of deadly storms, and we are tremendously proud to be instrumental in making this a reality."
He further noted the successful launch of the first pair of TROPICS satellites, affirming that the company is all set for the next launch a mere two weeks later. Beck highlighted that regular, reliable, and dedicated small satellite launches were core to Electron's purpose and the reason for Rocket Lab's launch sites, and therefore, it was gratifying to be able to deliver this for NASA.
This mission, "Coming To A Storm Near You", represents Rocket Lab's fifth Electron mission for 2023 and is a notable addition to the company's growing legacy, marking its 37th launch since the first Electron mission in 2017. The TROPICS project extends Rocket Lab's successful track record with NASA, following the triumph of the ELaNa-19 mission and the CAPSTONE lunar mission.
A live launch webcast will be accessible for the public from about T-20 minutes before the launch on Rocket Lab's official website. NASA's blog will offer launch updates, and mission-related information will also be readily available on social media platforms.
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com