WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
CLOSEOpt Out: I already like WMFE!

Like us on Facebook!

Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Pegasus Rocket Gets Boost To Space

A Pegasus rocket launches from Orbital ATK's Stargazer. Photo: Orbital ATK

A fleet of tiny weather satellites is heading to orbit Tuesday to help track the tropics, but it’s not a traditional launch from Kennedy Space Center.

Orbital ATK’s Pegasus rocket gets a big boost to space from a jet plane. The Stargazer airplane carries the Pegasus rocket and the payload underneath the plane. When it reaches an altitude of about 39,000 feet, the rocket is released and the engines fire to take it into space.

Heading to orbit on this rocket is a fleet of 8 small satellites, each about the size of a toaster oven, that measure surface wind speeds inside tropical storms and cyclones. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Navy are interested in the data coming from the fleet to help track and predict storms.

In Depth: Find out how these tiny satellites help track the tropics (Podcast)

Weather threatened the first launch attempt Monday, but ultimately a hardware issue prevented a successful flight and the launch was scrubbed. Orbital ATK says the team will try again to launch the Pegasus on Wednesday.

Sign Up For 90.7 WMFE's Newsletter

Catch up on the latest Central Florida news and get updates on programs, events and more.


WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »