Synspective to Launch Three Satellites Aboard Rocket Lab’s Electron

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Synspective, a Japanese Earth-imaging company, will launch three of its StriX satellites aboard Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle, the companies announced Tuesday.

The satellites will add to Synspective’s synthetic aperture radar (SAR) constellation, developed to take images of the Earth and detect changes to the planet’s surface down to the millimetre. It operates regardless of weather conditions on Earth and at any time of the day or night. By collating data of metropolitan centers daily, it is designed to support urban development planning, disaster response, and construction and infrastructure monitoring.

Only one satellite out of a planned total of more than 30 has yet entered orbit.

Each of the new satellites will fly on separate missions, the first two scheduled for lift-off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in 2022, and the third to follow in 2023. In all cases, StriX will be the only payload on board Electron, giving Synspective control over the launch schedule.

Synspective to Launch Three Satellites Aboard Rocket Lab’s Electron
Dr. Motoyuki Arai

Synspective has already begun operating its first satellite and providing solution services, and is now entering a phase of business expansion,” said Dr. Motoyuki Arai, Synspective’s founder and CEO. “StriX-β, the second satellite following StriX-α, will demonstrate Interferometric SAR (InSAR) technology in orbit and deepen satellite-operation know-how, which are strengths in our business expansion. We will accomplish this mission and steadily achieve results to enhance global efficiency and resilience.

Synspective also chose Rocket Lab to launch its StriX-α satellite in December 2020.

During the mission, named “The Owl’s Night Begins,” Rocket Lab shielded the satellite from the sun with its Kick Stage to reduce radiation exposure ahead of payload deployment. The same maneuver will be performed again for the upcoming missions.

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Peter Beck

We’re honored the Synspective team has once again chosen Electron to grow their StriX constellation,” said Peter Beck, Rocket Lab’s founder and CEO. “We recognize the importance of dedicated orbits and custom mission parameters for constellations, and we’re delighted to deliver a tailored launch and integration service to the Synspective team once again.

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