Pegasus XL CYGNSS Spacecraft Mate
Inside Building 1555 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the eight NASA Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) spacecraft installed on their deployment module undergo inspections prior to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Processing activities will prepare the spacecraft for launch aboard an Orbital ATK Pegasus XL rocket. When preparations are competed at Vandenberg, the rocket will be transported to Kennedy attached to the Orbital ATK L-1011 carrier aircraft with in its payload fairing. CYGNSS will launch on the Pegasus XL rocket from the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. CYGNSS will make frequent and accurate measurements of ocean surface winds throughout the life cycle of tropical storms and hurricanes. The data that CYGNSS provides will enable scientists to probe key air-sea interaction processes that take place near the core of storms, which are rapidly changing and play a critical role in the beginning and intensification of hurricanes.