General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has signed a contract with Rocket Lab to launch the GA-EMS developed Orbital Test Bed (OTB) satellite carrying the Argos-4 Advanced Data Collection System (A-DCS) hosted payload.
The contract was awarded to GA-EMS by the United States Space Force’s (USSF) Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) under a USSF Hosted Payload Solutions (HoPS) delivery order, on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The anticipated launch will occur between late 2021 and early 2022 using Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle.
The Argos-4 A-DCS mission is supported by the NOAA Cooperative Data and Rescue Services Program. Argos is an international program that collects data from thousands of sensors and transmitters located around the world. Currently, data is collected and distributed for use in numerous applications, including ocean buoy tracking, wildlife and fishery monitoring, and maritime security, as well as non-environmental uses.
“It’s a privilege to be able to provide tailored, reliable access to space for a program that makes such a significant contribution to monitoring and protecting our oceans and wildlife,” said Peter Beck, founder and chief executive officer of Rocket Lab.