In addition to SpaceX, which is gradually becoming a super-corporation, a number of other aerospace businesses, including Rocket Lab, which recently celebrated a significant anniversary, are operating successfully. On Thursday, 16:38 EDT, the Electron launch vehicle, for the thirtieth time in its history, launched a useful shipment from a launch site in New Zealand.
The Strix-1 satellite was launched at the request of the Japanese company Synsspective and launched into orbit 563 kilometres above Earth as planned 53 minutes after launch. The mission is rather pretentiously named The OWl Spreads Its Wings, "Sow spreads wings" with a reference to the name of the cargo.
Strix-1 is the first Synsspective satellite for a synthetic aperture radar constellation capable of observing literally millimetre changes on the Earth ' s surface, regardless of weather conditions on the planet at any time of the day and night. It is known that Rocket Lab has already launched Strix satellites into orbit in December 2020 and February 2022.
The Rocket Lab authorities called the launch a landmark mission. This is the 30th flight of the Electron rocket, which is carrying the 150th satellite into space, using a total of 300 Rutherford engines. The launch followed the successful shipment of the NASA CAPSTONE probe to the Moon, and the company intends to send one or more expeditions to search for life in Venus in the coming years.
In the future, Rocket Lab plans to make the first stage of the Electron accelerator suitable for reuse. In fact, it has already successfully tested a workable version of its return during the May mission There and Back Again.