NASA, launched two small satellites to monitor hurricanes

As part of the mission called “Tropics”, NASA launched two small satellites with the aim of monitoring the evolution of hurricanes in real time. The operation started from New Zealand, with the help of a rocket from the American company Rocket Lab. In particular, the Electron rocket, included in the micro-launcher category and only 18 meters high, took off in the last few hours from Mahia, in the north of the country. The two satellites, Cubesats, weigh about five kilos. In two weeks, then, a second rocket will be launched to carry two other satellites that will integrate the small “constellation”.

Additional information compared to larger satellites

Satellites will allow us not only to “see what is happening at any given moment, but also to really see how things change from hour to hour”, as reported by NASA scientist Will McCarty. “We will always need the big satellites but what we can get from this mission is additional information compared to the flagship satellites we already have”, added the expert. Emphasizing that the information collected by satellites on issues such as precipitation, temperature and humidity can make it possible to improve meteorological forecasts, in particular by better specifying the place where the hurricane could strike and with what intensity, so as to prepare more accurately for any evacuations of affected populations. In the long term, concluded the scientists involved in the operation, a better understanding of the formation and evolution of these storms will improve climate models in general.