Rocket Lab, a global leader in the launch of dedicated small satellites, has reportedly announced a new contract with Synspective, a Japanese satellite firm to launch a SAR (synthetic aperture radar) satellite late this year.
An Electron launch vehicle will launch the StriX-α satellite in a dedicated mission that would take place at Launch Complex 1 located in New Zealand.
The StriX-α satellite is the first in the company’s planned StriX constellation of about 25 SAR satellites developed to deliver geospatial solutions. The SAR satellites observe and gain information regarding Earth’s surface by receiving and transmitting reflected microwaves. Optical satellites rely on the reflection of sunlight for capturing images whereas SAR satellites have the ability to click pictures on the ground in any weather and irrespective of day or night.
With the new StriX constellation, Synspective plans to equip governments, companies, and research firms with user-friendly and high-quality information that can further be used for urban development construction monitoring, planning, infrastructure monitoring, as well as disaster response.
Peter Beck, Founder and Chief Executive of Rocket Lab stated that the company is thrilled to add Synspective into its client portfolio, and it is an honor for the company to play such a crucial role in the growth of StriX constellation.
Beck further added that the company understands how critical it is to control the orbit and launch schedule while designing a constellation and that’s why Rocket Lab takes pride in providing that capability to Synspective for Electron.
Dr. Motoyuki Arai, the Founder and CEO of Synspective stated that the company is looking forward to work alongside Rocket Lab. The company is also grateful to Rocket Lab for being flexible enough to accept its requests regarding the launch period and orbit of satellite. Synspective would launch its first satellite and its SAR data solutions in 2020. The company is taking a very crucial step towards establishing its one-stop service.
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