A NASA satellite system designed to collect weather data for use in tropical cyclone forecasting lifted off ThursdayÂ aboard the Orbital ATK-built Pegasus rocket.
Pegasus carried the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite SystemÂ into low-Earth orbit after the rocket was deployedÂ at approximately 39,000 feet from Orbital ATKâ€™s Stargazer L-1011 carrier aircraft that took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, Orbital ATK said Thursday.
CYGNSS is a constellation of eight small satellites that will work to help meteorologists gather measurements from space in order to monitor the intensity of cyclones and is part of the space agencyâ€™s Earth System Science Pathfinder Mission.
Pegasus is a category 3 certified rocket under NASAâ€™s Launch ServicesÂ program.
The launch marks the 43rd flight of Orbital ATKâ€™s air-launched platform and the rocketâ€™s first time to take off from Cape Canaveral in 12 years.
Orbital ATK produced the rocketâ€™s solid rocket motors, avionics and control systems and composite structures through its facilities in Arizona, Virginia, California and Utah.