Rocket Lab’s Electron Rocket Successfully Launches Tsukuyomi-i Satellite


Rocket Lab, a California-based company that specializes in orbiting small satellites, launched a Japanese satellite on Friday from its space company’s facility on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand.

The “The Moon God Awakens” mission was originally slated for Wednesday, but the severe winds that were predicted caused the postponement. The Electron rocket took off at 0406 GMT or 5:06 p.m. local time.

Rocket Lab's Electron Rocket Successfully Launches Tsukuyomi-i Satellite

More than two hours after the launch, Rocket Lab released a statement confirming that the rocket had successfully launched the TSUKUYOMI-I satellite into orbit on behalf of the Japanese company Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space Inc.

Named for a moon deity in Japan, the synthetic-aperture radar spacecraft will take pictures of Earth, according to Rocket Lab.

Rocket Lab has completed ten missions in 2023, surpassing the nine missions it completed in 2022.

This is the 42nd Electron launch from Wallops Island, Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, or Mahia since 2017. In 2006, Rocket Lab was established in New Zealand.

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