Press Release

Rocket Lab to Launch Dedicated Mission for Japanese Space Industry Start-up Synspective

By SpaceRef Editor
April 14, 2020
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Rocket Lab, a space technology company and global leader in dedicated small satellite launch, has signed a deal with Japanese satellite company Synspective to launch a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite in late 2020. 


Synspective’s  StriXα satellite will be launched on an Electron launch vehicle as a dedicated mission from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand.

The satellite will be the first in Synspective’s planned StriX constellation of around 25 SAR satellites designed to provide geospatial solutions. SAR satellites actively observe and acquire Earth surface information by transmitting and receiving reflected microwaves. Compared with optical satellites, which rely on sunlight reflection, SAR can capture images of the ground surface in all weather conditions and at any time of the day or night.

With the StriX constellation, Synspective aims to equip companies, governments, and research organizations with high-quality and user-friendly information data that can be used for urban development planning, construction and infrastructure monitoring, and disaster response.  

The StriXα satellite will be the sole payload on the Electron launch vehicle for this mission, giving Synspective the ability to select the exact orbit, launch site, and launch timing that best suits the company’s needs.  

“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.”  

“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,” said Synspective Founder and CEO Dr. Motoyuki Arai. “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.”


Rocket Lab Media Contact:

Morgan Bailey

(+64) 27 538 9039 |

Images and video content:


About Rocket Lab:

Rocket Lab is the world’s leading dedicated small satellite launch provider. Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab provides end-to-end mission services, including complete satellite build and launch solutions, that provide rapid, frequent and reliable access to space. Since its first orbital launch in January 2018, Rocket Lab has delivered 48 satellites to orbit on the Electron launch vehicle, enabling operations in space debris mitigation, Earth observation, ship and airplane tracking, and radio communications. Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Rocket Lab designs and manufactures the Electron launch vehicle and Photon satellite platform. Electron is a full carbon-composite launch vehicle tailored for small satellites. Photon is a complete spacecraft bus solution that can be tailored for a range of missions. Together Electron and Photon offer an all-inclusive spacecraft build and launch service for Rocket Lab customers. Rocket Lab operates launch sites in Māhia, New Zealand and Wallops Island, Virginia. To learn more, visit 

About Synspective:

Synspective provides one-stop solutions by satellite gathered geospatial data. The core technology was developed by the ImPACT program led by The Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, building small SAR satellites and constellation, allowing frequent observation of areas of interest. Synspective uses SAR satellites to provide data and produce user-friendly information to Governments and Private Companies. URL:

SpaceRef staff editor.