RAX-2 launched successfully on 28 October 2011 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It launched with its cousin CubeSat, the Michigan Multipurpose Minisat (M-Cubed), a 1U CubeSat whose mission is flight qualify a new radiation hardened FPGA system developed at JPL.
The RAX-2 launch is part of the the NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) program.
Footage of launch, captured by RAX team members and alumni on location at Vandenberg AFB.
Launch window: 0948:01-0957:11 GMT (5:48:01-5:57:11 a.m. EDT)
Launch site: SLC-2W, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
“The United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket will launch NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) mission for NOAA and NASA. The rocket will fly in the 7920-10 configuration. NPP will collect data on atmospheric and sea surface temperatures, humidity, land and ocean biological activity, and cloud and aerosol properties. Delayed from Oct. 25 to replace leaky tube in hydraulic system and flexible fabric collar connecting two engine exhaust ducts.”
[Courtesy of spaceflightnow.com]
RAX-2 launched on a Boeing Delta II rocket.
From the Boeing website: “Delta rockets have been built and launched since 1960. Delta’s origins go back to the Thor intermediate-range ballistic missile, which was developed in the mid-1950s for the U.S. Air Force. The Thor, a single-stage, liquid-fueled rocket, was modified to become the Delta launch vehicle, which later evolved into the Delta II.
Known as the ‘workhorse’ of the launch industry, the Delta II comprises a group of expendable rockets that can be configured as two- or three-stage vehicles and with three, four or nine strap-on graphite epoxy motors depending on mission needs.”
(Banner image © RAX Team)