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NASA launches a constellation of eight small satellites to study hurricanes

A rocket propelled into orbit eight tiny NASA satellites meant to peer deeply into hurricanes and help scientists better understand how they gain force, the US space agency said.

NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System mission, or CYGNSS, was launched aboard Orbital ATK’s Pegasus rocket XL. The rocket was carried on the underside of the company’s Stargazer L-1011 aircraft which deploys the Pegasus XL rocket in mid-flight. “All CYGNSS satellites have been successfully deployed,” Orbital ATK tweeted at 8:53 am (local time).

The USD 157 million satellites “will probe the inner core of hurricanes to learn about their rapid intensification,” NASA said. Current remote sensing technology is unable to peer past heavy rain in the inner core of a hurricane.

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