The Owl Spreads Its Wings September 15
The folks at Rocket Lab continue to get creative with naming missions, calling their upcoming launch The Owl Spreads Its Wings. It’s a mission on behalf of the synthetic aperture radar company Synspective, headquartered in Tokyo. The mission will launch a StriX-1 satellite, which will ride to orbit atop Rocket Lab’s Electron booster. It’s scheduled to lift off at 8:30 a.m. NZST on Friday, September 16, from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, that’s Thursday, September 15 (20:30 UTC).
Click here to watch the launch live.
According to the company’s website, Rocket Lab will hit several high points with this flight:
The mission for Synspective will mark a series of company milestones for Rocket Lab: Its 30th Electron launch, its 300th Rutherford engine, and the single StriX-1 satellite manifested on this Electron launch will bring Rocket Lab’s tally of satellites delivered to orbit to 150.
Go, Rocket Lab!
The Strix-1 satellite is Synspective’s first in a constellation of satellites that will make up a synthetic aperture radar. The system will be able to detect millimeter-sized changes in Earth’s surface. The company originally intended to orbit the satellite on a Russian Soyuz flight that was cancelled, due to the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian War.
Rocket Lab has been busy
Nearly 40 of the 150 satellites Rocket Lab has flown were launched in the last 90 days. One of these was NASA’s CAPSTONE lunar probe. Another was a space junk removal test during Rocket Lab’s mission called There and Back Again.
That mission was also notable because its first-stage booster was dare-devilishly snatched midair by a helicopter as it returned to Earth. There’s more about this feat in the video below:
Attention-getting mission names
And there was also Without Mission a Beat in April of this year.
Bottom line: Rocket Lab’s next launch – The Owl Spreads Its Wings on September 15, 2022 – will mark several milestones for the aerospace company..