Synspective orders 10 Rocket Lab Electron launches


Synspective orders 10 Rocket Lab Electron launches

WASHINGTON — Japanese radar imaging company Synspective has signed a contract for 10 Electron launches from Rocket Lab, the largest contract in the history of the launch provider.

The companies announced late June 17 the contract, which covers launches of individual StriX synthetic aperture radar (SAR) spacecraft on Electron rockets from 2025 through 2027. The companies did not disclose financial terms of the agreement, which was the largest single order of Electron rockets to date.

Rocket Lab has launched all four of Synspective’s SAR satellites on Electron launches dating back to 2020. The most recent launch was in March, part of a multi-launch contract that includes two more launches later this year separate from the new contract.

“We are honored that the Synspective team has once again entrusted Rocket Lab with the deployment of their constellation and we’re proud to be their launch partner for another ten missions, our largest launch agreement to date,” Peter Beck, chief executive of Rocket Lab, said in a statement.

Synspective is planning a constellation of up to 30 satellites by the end of the decade, which it says it will allow it to provide “near real-time” observations of the planet for disaster management and other applications. The company has raised $200 million so far, including a $100 million Series B round in 2022.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Rocket Lab to launch 10 new satellites. This agreement gives us a solid foundation and confidence,” said Motoyuki Arai, chief executive of Synspective, in a statement. “We look to accelerate building our satellite constellation and expand our services in the future. We appreciate Rocket Lab’s significant role in moving our business forward.”

The launch agreement was signed in Tokyo as part of a New Zealand trade mission to Japan that included the country’s prime minister, Christopher Luxon. “New Zealand innovation in space technology is rapidly putting our country on the map in this fast-growing industry,” Luxon said. “Collaboration with international partners is critical to enabling our space industry to maximize its potential on the global stage.”

The signing comes days before Rocket Lab attempts its 50th Electron launch, currently scheduled for no earlier than June 20. That launch will carry five Internet of Things satellites for French startup Kinéis, the first of five launches Rocket Lab will perform for Kinéis.

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