(Reuters) NASA on Monday joined forces with Rocket Lab to successfully launch the first of two cyclone-monitoring satellites, after previous launch attempts were postponed due to weather conditions.
Just after 1pm (01:00 GMT) local time, the rocket took off from its launch site in Mahia, New Zealand.
The satellite is the first in a constellation of satellites that will measure the formation and progression of tropical cyclones and hurricanes.
The TROPICS constellation (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) will consist of four low earth orbit satellites.
About 33 minutes after lift-off, the rocket deployed the shoebox-sized TROPICS satellite into low earth orbit, about 340 miles (550 kilometers) above earth.
Rocket Lab will conduct a further launch of two additional satellites, though the launch date has not yet been published.