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Rocket Lab selected by Ball Aerospace to Power NASA GLIDE mission

GLIDE will survey the exosphere, the outermost layer of Earth’s atmosphere. The exosphere is seen here in this illustration that shows the layers and their distance from Earth. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center / Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith

Edinburgh / Long Beach, 13 June 2022. – Ball Aerospace selected launch and space systems company, Rocket Lab, to manufacture the Solar Array Panel (SAP) to power NASA’s Global Lyman-Alpha Imager of Dynamic Exosphere (GLIDE) mission spacecraft planned to launch in 2025, Rocket Lab announced. The heliophysics mission will study variability in Earth’s atmosphere.

The SAP will be equipped with SolAero, Rocket Lab’s high-efficiency, radiation-hardened, quadruple-junction Z4J solar cells. The cells laid on carbon composite facesheet panels are manufactured in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The GLIDE spacecraft will launch jointly with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 (SWFO-L1). The Rocket Lab-powered SWFO-L1 is also a heliophysics mission spacecraft, built by Ball Aerospace. Its aim is to collect solar wind data and coronal imagery for monitoring and forecasting solar storm activity.

Previously, Rocket Lab has provided power to multiple NASA Heliophysics Division mission spacecraft including the Parker Solar Probe and the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission.

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