- Satellite Evolution
Rocket Lab signs multi-launch deal to deploy satellite constellation for Capella Space
Rocket Lab USA, Inc, a leading launch and space systems company, today announced it has secured a multi-launch deal for a rapid succession of four Electron missions for Capella Space, an American space tech company and the world’s leading provider of commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery.
Scheduled for launch beginning in the second half of 2023, each Electron mission will deploy a single SAR Earth-imaging Acadia satellite, a new generation satellite designed, manufactured, and operated by Capella Space, to low Earth orbit. These missions, scheduled to launch in quick succession, will follow an existing launch on the Rocket Lab manifest for Capella Space, the “Stronger Together” mission which is scheduled to lift off from Launch Complex 2 in Wallops, Virginia in March 2023. Capella Space is a returning customer to Electron, with Rocket Lab having launched a dedicated mission for the SAR company in August 2020.
The multi-rocket launch commitment demonstrates Rocket Lab’s proven ability to deliver streamlined access to space and allows Capella to meet growing customer demand for Capella SAR technology that can gather images 24/7 and through clouds or darkness.
Rocket Lab CEO and founder, Peter Beck, says: “We delivered mission success for Capella in our first mission for them in 2020 and now we’re thrilled they’ve entrusted us with a further five missions to help expand their growing SAR constellation. We’re proud to provide the team at Capella with a reliable ride to space, combined with the flexibility of two launch sites in different hemispheres to enable flexibility and responsiveness.”
Capella Space CEO and founder, Payam Banazadeh, says: “We are experiencing increased market demand for our highest-quality SAR data, and this announcement underscores Capella’s strong commitment to our global customers across the defence and intelligence and commercial markets. We are excited for the multiple launches with Rocket Lab, including the introduction of our new generation Acadia satellite technology, to further enhance our market-leading capabilities of high-frequency, best quality SAR imagery with the fastest order-to-delivery speeds of any commercial SAR provider.”
The four newly-signed missions are planned to lift-off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand – however, Rocket Lab has provided Capella Space with the flexibility to move any of the missions to Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 in Wallops, Virginia if required as the mission campaigns progress in order to meet optimum customer and mission requirements. By operating three orbital launch pads across two continents, Rocket Lab’s responsive and flexible launch solution enables assured access to orbit for Capella Space to quickly and reliably increase their constellation’s capacity and orbital diversity to meet growing demands for its SAR imagery and analysis.
In addition to providing the launch service, each Capella Space mission will feature separation systems produced by Rocket Lab in line with the Company’s vertical integration strategy.
Capella Space joins a growing list of commercial constellation operators who have entrusted Rocket Lab to deploy their spacecraft to precise orbits on dependable schedules including: BlackSky Global, Hawkeye 360, Synspective, Kineis, Planet, Spire, Fleet Space and more. Kineis is scheduled to begin late 2023.