WASHINGTON, June 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — NASA and Astra Space are targeting no earlier than Sunday, June 12, for the first launch of NASA’s Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) mission. Two CubeSats, each about the size of a loaf of bread, will launch aboard Astra’s Rocket 3.3 from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
NASA is offering limited virtual interview opportunities beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 10. There are three blocks of individual interview availabilities with the following participants:
- Dr. Will McCarty, program scientist, NASA Earth Science Division
- Dr. Aaron Pina, deputy program scientist, NASA Earth Science Division
- Ben Kim, program executive, NASA Earth Science Division
- Dr. William Blackwell, TROPICS principal investigator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
To request an interview at 3:30 p.m., 3:50 p.m., or 4:10 p.m., note the time and preference of subject matter expert(s) in a request to the Kennedy Newsroom at: [email protected]. NASA will take requests until all interview slots are booked.
TROPICS is a constellation of six CubeSats in three low-Earth orbit planes that will study tropical cyclones, increasing understanding of the processes driving rapid changes in storm structure and integrity. TROPICS has the potential to provide near-hourly observations of a storm’s precipitation, temperature, and humidity. This data can help scientists improve weather forecasting models.
Astra will launch the other four CubeSats in two separate launches later this summer.
The TROPICS team is led by Blackwell at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts, and includes researchers from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and several universities and commercial partners. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, will manage the launch service.
Learn more about NASA’s TROPICS at:
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