On January 31, 2015 at 14:22 UTC the "Delta-2” rocket-carrier was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, USA. The launch was performed by United Launch Alliance supported by the 30th Space Wing of US Air Force. The rocket orbited the SMAP observatory. Soil Moisture Active Passive, or SMAP, is a NASA mission to produce a global map of the moisture content in the Earth’s soil.
In addition to SMAP, the launch carried four miniature satellites under NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites program: FIREBIRD-2A and FIREBIRD-2B (Focused Investigations of Relativistic Electron Burst, Intensity, Range, and Dynamics); GRIFEX (GEO-CAPE ROIC In-Flight Performance Experiment); ExoCube.