UPDATE: Rocket Lab will launch the TSUKUYOMI-I synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite for Japan-based Earth imaging company the Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space, Inc. (iQPS). The company is now targeting no earlier than December 15, 2023, UTC, with a two hour, daily window.
Original news posting…
The Moon God Awakens’ is scheduled to launch from Pad B at Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand and will carry a single satellite for iQPS. Named after the Japanese God of the Moon, the QPSSAR- 5 satellite “TSUKUYOMI-I” is a synthetic-aperture radar satellite that will collect high-resolution images of Earth.
The satellite will join another iQPS satellite on-orbit that will ultimately be a 36-satellite constellation capable of monitoring Earth at specified points every 10 minutes.
This mission will be Rocket Lab’s 10th launch of 2023, exceeding the firm’s previous annual launch record of nine. ‘The Moon God Awakens’ will be Rocket Lab’s 42nd Electron launch, overall.
An FAA-licensed spaceport, Launch Complex 1 can provide up to 120 launch opportunities every year. From the site, it is possible to reach orbital inclinations from SSO through to 30 degrees, enabling a wide spectrum of inclinations to service the majority of the satellite industry’s missions to low Earth orbit.
Located within Launch Complex 1 are Rocket Lab’s private range control facilities, two 100K satellite cleanrooms, a launch vehicle assembly facility which can process multiple Electrons at once, and administrative offices. Operating a private orbital launch site alongside its own range and mission control centers allows Rocket Lab to reduce the overhead costs per mission, resulting in a cost effective launch service for satellite operators.
In addition to Launch Complex 1, Rocket Lab operates an additional launch site, Launch Complex 2, at the Mid- Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Launch Complex 2 can support up to 12 missions per year. By operating two launch complexes in two hemispheres, Rocket Lab provides customers with flexible, responsive launch opportunities.
The live stream of the launch will be viewable at this direct link…