NASA, which recently launched its hurricane tracking mission, has confirmed that all the 8 spacecraft belonging to its Earth science mission are doing well.
On Thursday, December 15, a constellation of 8 micro-satellites called the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) was blasted off for Earth’s orbit at 8:37 am EST. An Orbital ATK air-launched Pegasus XL rocket carried the hurricane tracking mission CYGNSS.
NASA has launched the CYGNSS mission to measure the wind speeds over Earth’s oceans. The mission will help in increasing the ability of scientists to understand and predict hurricanes.
Both direct and reflected signals from existing GPS satellites will be used by the CYGNSS in order to fetch estimates of surface wind speed over the ocean.
“CYGNSS will provide us with detailed measurements of hurricane wind speeds, an important indicator of a storm’s intensity,” said Christopher Ruf, CYGNSS principal investigator at the University of Michigan’s Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in Ann Arbor.
“Ultimately, the measurements from this mission will help improve hurricane track and intensity forecasts.”
CYGNSS launch is a first for NASA and for the scientific community , said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
He said that the hurricane tracking mission CYGNSS will make unprecedented measurements in the most violent, dynamic, and important portions of tropical storms and hurricanes.
NASA’s Earth Venture programme competitively selected the CYGNSS, which is the first orbital mission managed by the Earth System Science Pathfinder (ESSP) Program Office at NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia.