Helping NASA monitor tropical storms
Rocket Lab has been selected by NASA to launch the Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) missions, as part of the agency's Venture-class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) launch services contract. The mission will take place across two separate Electron launches.
Rocket Lab will launch the TROPICS mission, which is part of NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program and consists of four CubeSats in two low-Earth orbital planes, into their operational orbit within a 60-day period. These two dedicated missions will launch on Electron rockets from Launch Complex 2 within the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The launches are scheduled to take place no earlier than May 1, 2023.
The TROPICS constellation targets the formation and evolution of tropical cyclones, including hurricanes. TROPICS will provide rapidly updating observations of storm intensity as well as the horizontal and vertical structures of temperature and humidity within the storms and in their surrounding environment. These data will help scientists better understand the processes that effect these high-impact storms, ultimately leading to improved modelling and prediction.