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Rocket Lab Launches Synspective’s Third SAR Satellite

By Rachel Jewett | September 16, 2022

Rocket Lab’s launch for Synspective on Sept. 15. Photo: Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab launched the third radar satellite for Japanese startup Synspective on Thursday evening. The mission, “The Owl Spreads Its Wings,” marked the 30th Electron rocket launch and Rocket Lab’s 150th satellite deployed to space. 

The mission took off from Pad B at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 at 20:38 UTC on Sept. 15 and deployed a single satellite, StriX-1, to a 563 km circular Earth orbit. With this launch, Sysnpective now has three synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites on orbit. The company plans to build a constellation of 30 small SAR satellites by 2026.

“With the addition of our third satellite, we will be able to increase troves of data to analyze and interpret for real-world applications and our client’s wide range of needs as well as further accelerate the construction of the satellite constellation. The successful launch of our StriX-1 is a big step toward full-scale commercialization for our company,” said Synspective CEO Dr. Motoyuki Arai. 

Synspective also recently began a technical verification agreement with lasercom company Warpspace to use software to analyze data acquisition frequency and speed of using an optical laser communication network. This could lead to optical laser communication terminals on future observation satellites.