NASA loses two hurricane monitoring satellites as they launch into orbit

Two small satellites of the POT that were to study the development of a hurricane failed in their attempt to enter orbit on Sunday, when their Astra rocket burned out before reaching the necessary altitude, the US space agency said.

“After a nominal first stage flight” as planned “the rocket’s upper stage shut down early and failed to send the TROPICS CubeSats into orbit,” he confirmed in Twitter Launch Service Program POT.

In a post on its website after the launch, the POT described the TROPICS CubeSats as a constellation of six shoebox-sized satellites that “will study the formation and development of tropical cyclones, making more frequent analyzes than current climate satellites allow.”

aster received a $7.95 million contract from the POT in February 2021 for three launches, each with a pair of TROPICS devices on board.

Hoping to become a key player in the satellite launch market, Astra promises more frequent shipments with more flexibility than other companies using larger rockets, such as SpaceX or Arianespace.

“We are sorry we were unable to send the first two TROPICS satellites,” Astra CEO Chris Kemp said in a tweet on Sunday.

“Nothing is more important to our team than the trust of our customers and the successful delivery of satellites. TROPICS what’s left.”

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