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Rocket Lab to launch NASA’s PREFIRE mission


NASA has introduced they’ve chosen Rocket Lab to launch their PREFIRE mission to check Earth’s local weather and the way the planet loses warmth to house.

PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Vitality within the Far-InfraRed Experiment) will encompass two 6U cubesats that can be launched again to again no sooner than Might 2024. The satellites can be launched from Launch Complicated 1 on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand and inserted right into a 525 km (326 miles) polar orbit that can take it over the Artic and Antarctic ice caps.

These cubesats would be the seventh and eighth missions that Rocket Lab has launched for NASA, and as a result of strict mission necessities, they’re the one devoted small satellite tv for pc launch firm able to fast back-to-back launches which can be wanted for this mission.

The PREFIRE cubesats, as soon as in orbit, will deploy two photo voltaic arrays every earlier than starting science observations. The cubesats will measure how a lot warmth is misplaced by the environment to house from the ice caps and assist predict future ice soften, which ends up in rising sea ranges and coastal erosion across the planet.

A render of the PREFIRE cubesats in orbit (Credit score NASA JPL)

The launch contract was awarded underneath NASA’s VADR (Enterprise-class Acquisition of Devoted and Rideshare) launch companies that are primarily based at NASA’s Kennedy Area Middle in Florida. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will handle the mission and is offering the devices, whereas the College of Wisconsin-Madison will course of the info collected. The primary cubesats can be constructed by Blue Canyon Applied sciences.

Disclosure: Richard Angle just isn’t an RKLB shareholder.

Questions or feedback? Shoot me an e-mail at, or Tweet me @RDAnglePhoto.

Rocket Lab to launch NASA’s PREFIRE mission

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