Rocket Lab TROPICS Timeline of Events for Today’s Launch

Close up of the top half of Rocket Lab's Electron rocket standing vertical at the launch pad with bright green grass and blue ocean waters in the distance. The black rocket's payload fairings have the NASA logo and TROPICS mission name on it. Credit: Rocket Lab
The second Rocket Lab Electron rocket vertical on the pad at Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand, before launch. NASA will use TROPICS to study tropical cyclones as part of the agency’s Earth Venture Class missions. Credit: Rocket Lab

A 70-minute window opens at 11:46 p.m. EDT Thursday, May 25, (3:46 p.m. NZST Friday, May 26th) to launch a pair of NASA’s TROPICS CubeSats today on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket from New Zealand.

Here’s a look at some of today’s upcoming milestones. All times are approximate:

Timeline of Launch Events

Hr/Min/Sec        Event

-00:02:00 Launch auto sequence
-00:00:02 Rutherford engines ignite
00:00:00 Liftoff
+00:01:00 Vehicle supersonic
+00:01:11 Max-Q
+00:02:29 Main Engine Cut Off (MECO) on Electron’s first stage
+00:02:33 Stage 1 separation from stage 2
+00:02:36 Electron’s Stage 2 Rutherford engine ignites
+00:03:08 Fairing separation
+00:6:52 Battery hot swap
+00:09:27 Second engine cutoff (SECO) on Stage 2
+00:09:31 Stage 2 separation from Kick Stage
+00:31:00 Kick stage Curie engine ignition
+00:33:40 Curie engine cut off
~+00:33:45 Payload Deployed