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Japan’s first StriX satellite to launch on Rocket Lab’s Electron

Rocket Lab’s CEO Peter Beck. Photo: Rocket Lab

Luxembourg, 26 November 2020. – On Electron: Japanese Earth-imaging company Synspective will launch its first of 30 StriX satellites on Rocket Lab’s 17th Electron vehicle, its seventh mission of the year, Rocket Lab announced.

The Synspective mission is scheduled for lift-off during a 14-day launch window opening on 12 December UTC and will launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula to a targeted 500km circular low Earth orbit, the company said.

The mission is named ‘The Owl’s Night Begins’ in a nod to Synspective’s StriX family of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) spacecraft developed to be able to image millimeter-level changes to the Earth’s surface from space, independent of weather conditions on Earth and at any time of the day or night. Strix is also the genus of owls, Rocket Lab explained.

The StriX-α satellite onboard this mission will be the first of a series of spacecraft deployments for Synspective’s planned constellation of more than 30 SAR small satellites to collate data of metropolitan centers across Asia on a daily basis that can be used for urban development planning, construction and infrastructure monitoring, and disaster response.

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