Unfavorable Winds Delay TROPICS Launch

NASA and Rocket Lab are now targeting no earlier than 11:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, May 25, (3:30 p.m. NZST Friday, May 26th) for the launch of the agency’s TROPICS (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) mission, from Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand.

Due to strong upper-level winds present throughout the count and expected to remain at the launch’s targeted lift-off time, Rocket Lab’s launch director called a scrub before fueling the Electron rocket.

This final TROPICS launch will place a pair of CubeSats in low Earth orbit to join another pair of TROPICS satellites launched earlier this month. Together the four satellites will orbit in two equally spaced orbital planes, which will distribute them for optimal coverage over the tropics. The orbiting TROPICS constellation of satellites will study the formation and development of tropical cyclones, known as hurricanes in the Atlantic and typhoons in the West Pacific, making observations of temperature, precipitation, water vapor, and cloud ice more often than what is possible with current weather satellites.

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