A rocket shut down early and failed to deliver the TROPICS CubeSats to orbit on Sunday after lifting off from the Kennedy Space Center, NASA said.
The TROPICS CubeSats is about 12 pounds and is the size of a loaf of bread. NASA said the satellite can monitor the atmospheric emissions made by water vapor, oxygen, and clouds in the atmosphere. The satellite would have been capable of providing measurements of tropical systems every 50 minutes.
The rocket was produced by Astra, which is designing smaller, low-cost rockets. It’s part of a NASA program to help lower costs for the agency.
“Small satellites and Class D payloads tolerate relatively high risk and serve as an ideal platform for technical and architecture innovation, contributing to NASA’s science research and technology development.” NASA said. “The program offers opportunity for industry developing new launch capabilities.”