With the launch of two new satellites from New Zealand on Friday (in addition to the two already launched earlier this month), the US company Rocket Lab is now able to track hurricanes and typhoons more precisely.
Yesterday at 07:20
Cyclones and typhoons will be monitored more closely. After a second wave of successful satellite launches on Friday, NASA has reached its goal. Henceforth, the evolution of storms will be observed more precisely and more frequently than before.
Just three weeks after a similar launch, the Electron rocket lifted off from New Zealand, carrying two shoebox-sized satellites.
Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Labs, the maker of the Electron rocket, said he was “proud” of the success of the two takeoffs, which were supposed to take place in quick succession. The constellation is thus “just in time for the 2023 storm season,” he said in a statement.
Cycles every hour… before every six hours
Four satellites will pass over tropical cyclones (hurricanes and typhoons) every hour instead of the current six hourly.
The information collected (precipitation, temperature and humidity) can help improve weather forecasts, especially to know where cyclones will make landfall and at what intensity.
These are all elements that make it possible to better prepare the people involved for evacuation. The US National Hurricane Center and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center will benefit significantly from this new data.
NASA welcomes this development
“As a resident of Florida, I know how important it is for millions of Americans to have timely and accurate weather forecasts,” NASA President Bill Nelson said in a statement.
The constellation was supposed to have six satellites instead of four, but the first two were lost when American firm Astra’s rocket malfunctioned shortly after liftoff in 2022.
Cyclone Vanuatu: Why France is on the front lines
Hurricane Ian: Many Florida cities ‘virtually devastated’
As the surface of the ocean warms, hurricanes and cyclones become more powerful, scientists say. Enough to make their monitoring a major challenge for years to come.
“Travel aficionado. Incurable bacon specialist. Tv evangelist. Wannabe internet enthusiast. Typical creator.”