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Launches: The Owl Spreads Its Wings September 15

Launches: The Owl Spreads Its Wings

A Rocket Lab Electron booster will fly the third of three missions for Tokyo-based Synspective – a global satellite imaging and monitoring company – at 20:30 UTC today, September 15, 2022. This translates to 8:30 a.m. Friday NZST or 3:30 p.m. today CDT. The launch will fly from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. The company, continuing its tradition of mission names intended to catch the imagination, is calling this one The Owl Spreads Its Wings.

The Strix-1 satellite is the first craft of what will eventually be a worldwide synthetic radar system able to detect millimeter-sized changes in Earth’s surface. The flight will mark a handful of launch milestones for the small aerospace company.

Square device with rectangular wings against Earth's globe.
This artist’s concept depicts a Synspective StriX mapping satellite in orbit. A StriX will launch at 20:30 UTC on Thursday, September 15, 2022, from New Zealand aboard a Rocket Lab Electron booster craft. The launch will be streamed live and can be viewed via this page. Image via Synspective.

SpaceX also launching today

Also taking to orbit today, if the weather cooperates, is another batch of Starlink satellites atop a Falcon 9 lift vehicle launching at 01:27 UTC on September 16 (9:27 p.m. EDT on September 15) from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Following a pair of weather delays, this will be a third – hopefully final – attempt to get this mission off the ground this week.

Mission Starlink 4-34 includes 54 more of the company’s communications networking satellites. The large total number of satellites the company intends to launch, along with their relative brightness, have become a cause for advocates of preserving the globe’s dark skies.

Bottom line: Two launches scheduled for today (September 15, 2022) are Rocket Lab Electron and SpaceX Falcon 9. Both are attempting to create globe-spanning satellite networks.

Read more: Satellites versus stars: Which will dominate the sky?

Read more: SpaceX Starlink launches for September

September 15, 2022
Human World

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