NASA’s TROPICS pair of satellites are successfully launched by Rocket Lab Electron

by | May 8, 2023 | Launches, NASA, Satellites, Science, Seradata News

NASAs TROPICS 5 and TROPICS 6, having originally been planned to be launched on a completely different rocket (the launch was moved from an Astra Rocket 3 after a launch failure destroyed an earlier TROPICS pair), and then launched from a new location (New Zealand instead of USA) and Electron KS rocket was successfully launched from Mahia Peninsula (Pad 1B) at 0100 GMT on 8 May 2023. The pair appear to have Leapfrogged TROPICS 3 and 4 in terms of launch order,

TROPICS 5 (TROPICS SV05) and TROPICS 6 (TROPICS SV06) are 5 kg 6U-cubesats and are designed as part of a small constellation to provide near-hourly data on the formation of tropical cyclones. The rocket initially achieved a circular low Earth parking orbit before the KS (Kick Stage) third stage performed a two degree inclination reduction to the 550 km operational orbit at 32.7 degrees inclination. The TROPICS pair were then deployed.

TROPICS 5 & 6 are launched by an Electron KS rocket. Courtesy: Rocket Lab

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