A Rocket Lab Electron KS rocket successfully delivered the StriX 1 radar satellite to orbit. The launch took place at 2038 GMT on 15 September from the Onenui Station on the Bahia Peninsula of the North Island of New Zealand. The spacecraft which is owned and operated by the Japanese firm Synspective will provide detailed images of Earth from its Sun-synchronous 563 km orbit via its X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). This is claimed to have a 1m resolution in its “sliding spotlight” mode. The satellite is the first satellite in a planned constellation of 25.
The launch – the Electron rocket series’ 30th – was dubbed “The Owl Spreads Its Wings” (Strix is the Latin genus name of Owls).