CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. --
The 45th Space Wing supported Orbital ATK’s successful Pegasus XL rocket launch carrying NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System Dec. 15 at 8:37 a.m. from Orbital’s “Stargazer” L-1011 carrier aircraft which took off from the Skid Strip here.
Once the L-1011 carrier aircraft reached launch altitude, the Pegasus rocket launched over the Atlantic Ocean about 126 miles east of Daytona Beach, Fla.
The CYGNSS constellation consists of eight microsatellite observatories that will produce measurements of ocean surface winds throughout the life cycle of tropical storms and hurricanes, which could help lead to better forecasting of severe weather on Earth. The CYGNSS mission is the 43rd Pegasus space launch since its introduction in 1990, and marks a total of 93 satellites launched by the rocket, according to an Orbital ATK fact sheet. The last Pegasus mission originating from CCAFS occurred more than 13 years ago.
According to Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing commander and mission Launch Decision Authority, today's launch once again clearly demonstrates the collaborative efforts required for mission success.
“I am proud of the entire professional team here on the Space Coast who worked together flawlessly to make our twenty-second major launch operation of the year a success,” he said. “It’s been 13 years since we last supported a Pegasus launch and our collective team for this unique mission didn’t miss a beat. It's an honor to work alongside this entire team as we shape the future of America's launch and range operations, and continue to be the ‘World's Premier Gateway to Space.’”