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Rocket Lab to Launch Three Dedicated Electron Missions for Earth Imaging Company Synspective

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
December 8, 2021
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Electron launches from New Zealand on Nov. 18, 2021. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

The missions follow on from the launch of Synspective’s first satellite, StriX-α, by Rocket Lab in 2020

LONG BEACH, Calif., December 7, 2021 (Rocket Lab PR) – Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (“Rocket Lab” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: RKLB), a leading launch provider and space systems company, has today announced it has signed a deal with Japanese Earth imaging company Synspective to carry out three dedicated Electron launches.

The first two missions are scheduled for lift-off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in 2022, with a third to follow in 2023. Each mission will deploy a single StriX satellite, growing Synspective’s synthetic aperture radar (SAR) constellation developed to deliver imagery that can detect millimetre-level changes to the Earth’s surface from space, independent of weather conditions on Earth and at any time of the day or night.

These new missions follow on from Rocket Lab’s first launch for Synspective in December 2020. The mission, named ‘The Owl’s Night Begins’, saw Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle deploy the StriX-α satellite – the first spacecraft in Synspective’s planned constellation of more than 30 SAR satellites designed to collate data of metropolitan centers on a daily basis to support urban development planning, construction and infrastructure monitoring, and disaster response. During ‘The Owl’s Night Begins’ mission Rocket Lab performed an advanced mid-mission maneuver with its Kick Stage to shield the StriX satellite from the sun to reduce radiation exposure ahead of payload deployment. The Kick Stage will once again perform the maneuver for the new upcoming missions. Flying as a dedicated mission means the StriX satellites will be the only payload on board Electron, giving Synspective control over launch schedule and enabling specific LTANs[1] not achievable when flying as one of many satellites on large rideshare missions.

Rocket Lab founder and Chief Executive, Peter Beck, says: “We’re honored the Synspective team has once again chosen Electron to grow their StriX constellation. 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.”

Synspective founder and CEO, Dr. Motoyuki Arai, says: “It is a great honor to collaborate with Rocket Lab, which is evolving from a rocket venture pioneer to an experienced launch service provider with the successful Strix-α deployment to orbit. We are very grateful for their flexibility in accepting our requests on the satellite’s orbit and launch period. Synspective has already begun operating its first satellite and providing solution services, and is now entering a phase of business expansion. 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.”

About Rocket Lab

Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab is an end-to-end space company with an established track record of mission success. We deliver reliable launch services, spacecraft components, satellites and other spacecraft and on-orbit management solutions that make it faster, easier and more affordable to access space. Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Rocket Lab designs and manufactures the Electron small orbital launch vehicle and the Photon satellite platform and is developing the Neutron 8-ton payload class launch vehicle. Since its first orbital launch in January 2018, Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle has become the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket annually and has delivered 107 satellites to orbit for private and public sector organizations, enabling operations in national security, scientific research, space debris mitigation, Earth observation, climate monitoring, and communications. Rocket Lab’s Photon spacecraft platform has been selected to support NASA missions to the Moon and Mars, as well as the first private commercial mission to Venus. Rocket Lab has three launch pads at two launch sites, including two launch pads at a private orbital launch site located in New Zealand, one of which is currently operational, and a second launch site in Virginia, USA which is expected to become operational in early 2022. To learn more, visit

About Synspective:

Synspective’s mission is to create a learning world where people can expand their capabilities and make tangible progress with new data and technologies. Synspective provides one-stop-solutions using geospatial data from its own SAR satellites to create a progressive world based on real data. Synspective is building a constellation of its own small SAR satellites to provide data and analytic information to governments and commercial outfits.  For more information, visit:

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