Weather Delays TROPICS Launch

NASA and Rocket Lab are now targeting no earlier than 1:00 a.m. EDT Tuesday, May 23, (5:00 p.m. NZST) for the launch of a pair of storm tracking CubeSats due to unfavorable weather conditions. TROPICS (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) remains healthy and ready for launch on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket from Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand. Originally, Rocket Lab was targeting no earlier than 1:30 a.m. EDT (5:30 p.m. NZST) Monday, May 22, for the launch.

Rocket Lab will continue to assess the weather as it evolves.

This launch is the second of two planned launches, each sending a pair of shoebox-sized satellites to low Earth orbit to make more frequent observations of tropical cyclones, which includes hurricanes and typhoons. TROPICS will provide data on temperature, precipitation, water vapor, and clouds by measuring microwave frequencies, providing insight into storm formation and intensification. The data will help scientists better understand the processes that effect these high-impact storms, ultimately leading to improved modeling and prediction.

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. Coverage will begin at around 12:40 a.m. EDT on May 23.

Follow launch updates on NASA’s Small Satellite Missions blog and stay connected with the mission on social media.

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