Rocket Lab Selected by Ball Aerospace to Power NASA’s GLIDE Mission

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

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

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

The GLIDE spacecraft will be launched in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 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 purpose is to collect solar wind data and coronal images to monitor and forecast solar storm activity.

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

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