Long Beach-based space company to launch Japanese satellite in New Zealand

Rocket Lab, a Long Beach based space technology company, will launch a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite in New Zealand in collaboration with the Japanese satellite company Synspective.

Synspective’s StriX-α satellite will launch from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on an Electron launch vehicle later this year.

“We’re delighted to welcome Synspective to Electron, and we’re honored to be play such a pivotal role in the development of the StriX constellation,” said Rocket Lab Founder and Chief Executive, Peter Beck. “We understand just how important it is to have control over your orbit and your launch schedule when building out a constellation, so we’re proud to be delivering that capability to Synspective on Electron.”

This satellite will be the first in a 25 SAR satellite constellation planned by Synspective. The satellites will provide information about the Earth’s surface by transmitting and receiving reflected microwaves. Unlike optical satellites, which require sunlight reflection, SAR satellites can take images of the ground surface in all weather conditions, day or night.

Synspective will then offer that information to companies, governments, and research organizations with high-quality and user-friendly information data that can be used for urban development planning, construction, infrastructure monitoring and disaster response.

The StriX-α satellite will be the only payload on the Electron launch vehicle launched by Rocket Lab. This allows Synspective to select the exact orbit, launch site and launch timing it prefers.

“We are very pleased to work with Rocket Lab, a pioneer in rocket ventures. We are also grateful for their flexibility in accepting our requests on the satellite’s orbit and launch period,” Synspective Founder and CEO Dr. Motoyuki Arai said. “This year, we will launch our first satellite as well as our SAR data solutions. With this launch, we are taking a very important step towards establishing Synspective’s one stop service.”

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