Astra Space has secured a $7.9 million contract to help NASA launch six CubeSat small satellites designed to help meteorologists study storms.
The company's Rocket 3 launch vehicle will carry the smallsats to space as part of the space agency's Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity with a Constellation of SmallSats or TROPICS mission, NASA said Saturday.
The TROPICS CubeSats are made to measure microwaves that scientists can use to study the humidity, pressure and temperature of hurricanes. Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory developed TROPICS' microwave technology.
The Federal Aviation Administration will provide licensing for the launch, which is scheduled to take place between Jan. 8 and July 31, 2022.
The launch effort will run under the management of NASA's Launch Services Program.