Rocket Lab Gears Up for NASA’s Second TROPICS Launch

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. is preparing for the launch of its second dedicated Electron mission, which aims to release a network of storm-tracking satellites for NASA. The mission, called “Coming To A Storm Near You”, will be carried out from Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The launch follows a strict timetable, with the window opening at 16:00 NZST on May 25th. This is the second of two missions for Rocket Lab’s continued commitment to NASA’s TROPICS project. Each mission aims to deliver a duo of shoebox-sized satellites to a low Earth orbit, where they will gather granular tropical storm data to augment our understanding of lethal storms and refine tropical cyclone forecasting. The TROPICS CubeSats are specifically destined for an orbit at an altitude of 550 kilometers with an inclination of approximately 30 degrees. All four satellites from both missions need to reach their operational orbit within a 60-day window, ahead of the 2023 North American storm season which kicks off in June. Rocket Lab’s founder and CEO, Peter Beck, expressed the significance and pride associated with this mission, stating that “The TROPICS constellation has the potential to save lives and advance our understanding of deadly storms”. This mission represents Rocket Lab’s fifth Electron mission for 2023 and is a notable addition to the company’s growing legacy, marking its 37th launch since the first Electron mission in 2017. A live launch webcast will be accessible for the public from about T-20 minutes before the launch on Rocket Lab’s official website.