Electron is scheduled to launch the “It Argos Up From Here” mission onboard the GAzelle satellite from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand (photo below), during a launch window that opens on October 5, UTC.
The “It Argos Up From Here” mission will launch the GA-EMS designed and manufactured satellite carrying the A-DCS hosted payload. The A-DCS mission is supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Cooperative Data and Rescue Services Program, which arranged the launch through the Hosted Payload Solutions contract vehicle administered by the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command. The Argos-4 instrument onboard the GA-EMS satellite was provided by France’s National Centre for Space Studies (CNES).
Argos is an international program that collects data from some 18,000 transmitters operating around the globe, serving a host of applications including tracking of buoys, fishing vessels and wildlife; collection of environmental data such as ocean temperature profiles, river levels and animal heart rates; and observation of ocean parameters such as currents, temperature and color.
“We are looking forward to completing the final milestones toward a launch countdown, as we grow closer to delivering NOAA’s latest environmental data collection and monitoring capabilities on orbit,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “Rocket Lab’s ability to provide us with a dedicated launch solution, and their demonstrated success in deploying small satellites into targeted low Earth orbit destinations complements GA-EMS’ commitment to offering efficient, reliable solutions that meet our customer’s unique mission requirements.”
“The Argos international satellite system has been delivering crucial environmental data from space for more than 40 years, so we’re very proud to support this important legacy and ensure its resilience by providing reliable, dedicated launch services,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “We’re delighted to be working with the team at General Atomics to make this important mission possible. The mission ultimately serves to better monitor and protect the environment on Earth, we’ll be doing our part to ensure environmental sustainability in space by once again performing an orbit lowering burn with the Kick Stage after payload deployment to rapidly accelerate the Kick Stage’s de-orbit time, avoiding creating long term space debris.”
GA-EMS designed and manufactured the GAzelle satellite at their Centennial, Colorado, facilities and conducted all integration and testing for the Argos-4 instrument and the RadMon space radiation monitoring payloads. GA-EMS owns the satellite and is managing mission operations and control of the satellite throughout its five-year mission lifecycle.
“Our complete ground-to-orbit solutions and flexible, optimized platforms provide a more efficient way for customers to deliver critical technologies to space,” said Gregg Burgess, vice president of GA-EMS Space Systems. “We are extremely proud of our team and our partners as we get closer to delivering the Argos-4 instrument on orbit to begin collecting and distributing real-time data for the research, study, and protection of our planet’s environment.”