NASA, Rocket Lab Announce Coverage For Second TROPICS Launch

The first pair of TROPICS CubeSats lifts off aboard a Rocket Lab Electron rocket from Launch Complex 1, Pad B, in Māhia, New Zealand earlier in May.
Credits: Rocket Lab

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 1:30 a.m. EDT Monday, May 22 (5:30 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.

TROPICS is a constellation of four identical CubeSats designed to observe tropical cyclones from low Earth orbit, making observations more frequently than current weather tracking satellites. Gathering data more frequently can help scientists improve weather forecasting models.

NASA will use TROPICS to study tropical cyclones as part of the agency’s Earth Venture Class missions, which select targeted science missions to fill gaps in our overarching understanding of the entire Earth system.

Full coverage of this mission is as follows (all times Eastern):

Monday, May 22

Approximately 1:15 a.m. – Live launch coverage begins

No earlier than 1:30 a.m. – Launch window opens

NASA website launch coverage

Follow countdown coverage on NASA’s launch blog for live updates beginning no earlier than 12 a.m. On demand streaming video and photos of the launch will be available shortly after liftoff on Rocket Lab’s website and Flickr. Imagery also is available on the NASA website.

Watch, engage on social media

Stay connected and receive mission updates by following and tagging these accounts:

Twitter: @NASA_LSP, @NASAEarth, @NASAGoddard, @NASA, @RocketLab

Facebook: NASA, NASA LSP, RocketLabUSA

Instagram: @NASA, @NASAEarth, @RocketLabUSA

The TROPICS team is led by Dr. William Blackwell at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts, and includes researchers from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and several universities and commercial partners. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is managing the launch service.

For more information about NASA’s TROPICS, visit:

Karen Fox / Joshua Finch
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1257 / 202-358-1100
[email protected][email protected]

Leejay Lockhart
Kennedy Space Center, Florida
[email protected]

By Roxana Bardan
Source NASA

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