Six satellites aimed at improving improve weather forecasts and space weather monitoring are officially on their way into orbit.
The half-dozen satellites launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Known as COSMIC-2, the mission is part of a joint deal between the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Taiwan National Space Organization.
“The critical atmospheric data from COSMIC-2, along with information from polar-orbiting satellites NOAA and its international partners operate, will go a long way toward improving the accuracy of our forecasts and reduce the harmful impacts on lives, property, and economies,” said Neil Jacobs, acting NOAA administrator, in a statement.
It will take the COSMIC-2 up to 20 months from launch before all six satellites reach their final orbit configuration, NOAA said.