Rocket Lab launches wildlife tracking and data-collecting satellite into space

Rocket Lab launches wildlife tracking and data-collecting satellite into space

Rocket Lab launched a wildlife data-collecting satellite to space Friday (Oct. 7) in a flawless New Zealand takeoff.

The mission, nicknamed “It Argos Up From Here,” traveled to space from Rocket Lab’s New Zealand site on the North Island’s Mahia Peninsula at 1:09 p.m. EDT (1709 GMT or 6:09 a.m. local time Oct. 8).

A livestream from Rocket Lab showed the kick stage successfully isolating from the rocket, and the organization announced satellite sending accomplishment on Twitter at 2:06 p.m. EDT (1806 GMT).

The mission used an Electron rocket to loft the satellite and its payload, made by General Atomics, into orbit. While Rocket Lab intends to make Electron completely reusable, the organization didn’t want to repurpose the supporter on this event.

When deployed, the data-collecting payload on the satellite will assemble data from sensors that are used as a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) cooperative information and salvage services program, General Atomics authorities said in a release.

“Argos is an international program that collects data from thousands of sensors and transmitters located around the world,” officials wrote. “Currently, data is collected and distributed for use in numerous applications, including ocean buoy tracking, wildlife and fishery monitoring, and maritime security, as well as non-environmental uses.”

The wildlife tracking program is what Argos is most popular for, particularly for sea turtles and marine mammals, Rocket Lab authorities wrote in their press kit for the mission. “There are currently 22,000 active transmitters around the world that the Argos system is monitoring, with almost 7,800 tracking wildlife,” officials wrote(opens in new tab).

“It Argos Up From Here” is Rocket Lab’s 31st Electron mission and the first partnership between Rocket Lab and General Atomics, as indicated by Rocket Lab. The organization’s last launch on Sept. 16 lofted the Strix-1 satellite on behalf of Synspective.

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