Rocket Lab’s successful and upcoming TROPICS launches

Rocket Lab successfully deploys NASA’s hurricane monitoring satellites

Rocket Lab, a leading space systems company, has accomplished a pioneering mission to advance weather science and potentially save lives. The company recently launched the first two of four TROPICS (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) satellites for NASA. This constellation aims to provide critical data on tropical cyclones’ formation and progression, potentially leading to more accurate and timely predictions.

A game-changer for weather monitoring

Rocket Lab’s successful ‘Rocket Like a Hurricane’ mission launched from the Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand, deploying two of the four CubeSats that comprise the TROPICS constellation. With its unique orbit over the Earth’s tropics, the constellation can observe a given storm roughly once an hour – a significant leap from the current six-hour timing of existing weather tracking satellites.

The potential to save lives and livelihoods

CEO Peter Beck expressed his company’s pride and responsibility, saying, “The TROPICS constellation has the real potential to save lives by providing more timely data about storm intensity and providing advance warning to those in storm paths, so it’s an immense privilege to have deployed these spacecraft to their precise orbits before the upcoming storm season.”

Collaboration breeds success

Rocket Lab’s successful mission could not have been achieved without the combined effort of all partners. TROPICS program executive for NASA’s Earth Science Division, Ben Kim, expressed gratitude to the teams at MIT Lincoln Labs, Blue Canyon Technologies, KSAT, and Rocket Lab for their successful execution of this first launch.

Next stop, ‘Coming to a Storm Near You’

Rocket Lab’s next mission, ‘Coming to a Storm Near You,’ is eagerly anticipated, scheduled for May 22nd, and will deploy the final two TROPICS CubeSats. The completion of this constellation will bring a new era of tropical cyclone monitoring and weather prediction.

The live launch webcast will be available at from around T-20 minutes on launch day.

Steady progress towards more accurate weather forecasting

The TROPICS mission is not only an impressive feat for Rocket Lab but also a vital step for weather science. These launches bring the total number of satellites launched to orbit by Rocket Lab to 161, and with each successful mission, the future of more precise weather forecasting gets brighter.

A promising future for weather science

The successful launch of the TROPICS satellites by Rocket Lab signifies a promising step towards a future where weather predictions become more accurate and timely. As we face the increasing threat of climate change, these advancements could be critical for the protection of life and property during severe weather events. As Rocket Lab continues to push boundaries, we eagerly anticipate what this advancement means for the future of weather science.


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