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Rocket Lab moves CubeSat from Virginia to New Zealand
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Rocket Lab moves CubeSat from Virginia to New Zealand
by Matt Bernardini
Washington DC (UPI) Apr 11, 2023

Aerospace manufacturer Rocket Lab announced that it is moving its planned launch of NASA storm-monitoring CubeSats from Virginia to New Zealand.

The company said Monday that the two launches, which had been scheduled to take place at the company's launch complex in Wallops Island, Va., will instead be moved to Mahia, New Zealand.

The first launch is scheduled for no earlier than April 30, with the second one scheduled for May 30.

Each of the launches will carry the small CubeSats into orbit where they will boost the frequency at which tropical cyclones can be measured from space beginning in the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.

"With the 2023 hurricane season fast approaching, time is of the essence for these missions," Peter Beck, chief executive of Rocket Lab, said in a company statement, according to Space News. "Because we operate three launch pads across two countries, we can constantly assess the launch manifest and adapt launch schedules and locations based on customer and mission requirements."

The change in launch dates avoids a potential conflict with a Northrop Grumman Antares launch of a Cygnus cargo mission to the International Space Station, that is planned for early May at Wallops.

Rocket Lab previously won a $12.99 million contract from NASA in November to launch the CubeSats.

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