August 4, 2021

Synspective satellite launch by Rocket Lab

2 min read

Rocket Lab, a satellite launch provider, announced Synspective, which is a Japanse-based company, will launch an earth-imaging satellite. Rocket lab said that Synspective is its 17th Electron launch customer and its 7th mission for this year. The launch mission is expected to take place for lift-off on 12th December during the 14-day launch window from New Zealand’s Mahia at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1.

The Owl’s Night Begins’ is the name of the mission in recognition of Synspective’s StriX family of SAR (Synthetic aperture radar) satellite, which was built to picture the changes of the millimetre-level to earth’s surface from space. The spacecraft is independent of Earth’s weather conditions and can take images at any time. This means that it is designed to image during the day and night, and the pictures would still be clear. Strix is the owls’ genus. 

Synspetive plans to deploy over 30 synthetic aperture radar small spacecraft constellations, which will help collect metropolitan centres data all over Asia every day. The StriX-a satellite launch would be the first Synspective’s mission. The data collected from the mission could be used for infrastructure management and monitoring, urban planning and development, building construction, and disaster response and management. 

In this mission, Rocket Lab will use a custom expanded fairing to surround Synspective’s satellite body. This is the first time Rocket Lab is using an expanded fairing since it recently developed it together with vehicle performance improvements, including battery technological advancement that helps boost payload lift capacity up to 660 lbs (300kg). 

Rocket Lab is also expected to carry out an advanced mid-mission to manoeuvre its Kick Stage space tug that is designed to protect the StriX-a satellite from harmful ultra-violet rays. This will help in radiation exposure reduction before the payload deployment. 

Talking about the launch, Peter Beck, the founder, and CEO of Rocket Lab, said that they are very pleased to have a ride to orbit with Synspective. He added that they are honoured to play a vital role in establishing the first Synspective’s satellite in its constellation. Peter said that flying the Electron mission will give the Synspective team the whole control over their launch schedule and orbit, providing them with self-assurance over time as they develop their business. 

Motoyuiki Arai, a Synspective founder and CEO, said that they are proud and happy to launch their first satellite with Rocket Lab. He added that this is the beginning as they are planning to launch 30 SAR satellite constellations. 

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