NASA - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration

05/25/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/25/2024 01:22

NASA’s PREFIRE Mission: Weather 70% Favorable for Today’s Launch

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket called "Ready, Aim, PREFIRE" is vertical on the pad in Mahia, New Zealand ahead of launching the first of two PREFIRE CubeSats on May 25, 2024. Photo Credit: Rocket Lab

Weather officials with Rocket Lab predict a 70% percent chance of favorable weather for today's launch of NASA's PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment) mission.

Storm conditions have cleared, leaving intervals of clouds and sunshine. Winds are out of the west at 5 to 10 mph.

The mission consists of two, identical 6U CubeSats, launching on separate rockets, on a mission of at least 10 months that will enable researchers to systematically study from space the planet's heat emissions in the far-infrared - with 10 times finer wavelength resolution than any previous sensor.

NASA and the University of Wisconsin-Madison jointly developed the PREFIRE mission. The agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate and provides the instruments. Blue Canyon Technologies built the CubeSats, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will process the data collected by the instruments. The science team includes members from JPL and the Universities of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Colorado.

The launch is part of NASA's VADR (Venture-class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare) contract, with Rocket Lab selected by the agency's Launch Services Program to launch both spacecraft. NASA's VADR approach supports the launch of more risk tolerant science payloads at lower cost.

Follow updates on NASA's small satellite missions blog.

X: @NASA_LSP, @NASAEarth, @NASAKennedy, @NASA, @RocketLab, @NASAJPL
Facebook: NASA, NASA LSP, @NASAJPL, RocketLabUSA
Instagram: @NASA, @NASAEarth, @NASAJPL, @RocketLabUSA