COSMIC-2, a mission of six satellites designed to improve weather forecasts and space weather monitoring, blasted into orbit at 2:30 a.m. ET today, June 25, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.
The satellites, six of the 24 payloads flying on the U.S. Air Force’s Space Test Program-2, make up the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate, called COSMIC-2. COSMIC-2 data will be fed into NOAA’s sophisticated numerical weather prediction models to forecast weather and climate and monitor dynamic changes in Earth's ionosphere, leading to improved weather and space weather forecasts.
The mission is part of a joint agreement between the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, with NOAA and the Taiwan National Space Organization, as designated representatives. In Taiwan, COSMIC-2 is known as FORMOSAT-7 and the satellites are owned and operated by the authorities in Taiwan.