Rocket Lab achieved a successful launch with an Electron KS at 0405 GMT on 15 December, from the Onenui Station located on Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand. It marked the company’s first launch attempt since an ill-fated mission in September.
The latest Rocket Lab launch, dubbed “The Moon God Awakens”, carried QPS-SAR-5 to a LEO Sun-synchronous orbit. QPS-SAR-5 is a synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite and joins the QPS-SAR constellation, which totals four satellites.
IZANAGI, launched in 2019, and IZANAMI in 2021 were precursor spacecraft to the planned 36-satellite constellation. QPS-SAR-6 was launched earlier this year.
SAR satellites are capable of collecting high-resolution images of Earth through clouds and adverse weather conditions.
Farah Ghouri contributed to this story.