SpaceX rival rocket lab will launch Japanese satellite next week
The satellite will capture high resolution images of Earth
(Web Desk) - New Zealand-based space startup Rocket Lab is targeting Dec 13 to launch its 42nd mission aboard its Electron spacecraft, the company revealed — a Japanese satellite designed to study Earth.
The mission, which Rocket Lab has dubbed "The Moon God Awakens," will see the Electron rocket take the TSUKUYOMI-I satellite to orbit on behalf of a Japanese company called the Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space (IQPS).
The spacecraft will launch from the company's complex in Mahia, New Zealand, at approximately 11:00 p.m. Eastern time (5:00 p.m. local time).
The Electron, Rocket Lab's answer to SpaceX's Falcon 9, is designed to take lighter payloads to orbit. In this case, the satellite will take high-res images of Earth.
If the launch succeeds, it will mark the tenth successful take off for the SpaceX rival this year, but it has some catching up to do to match — by contrast, Elon Musk's space company has launched 91 rockets so far in 2023.
Rocket Lab will stream the launch live for free on its website, staring about 30 minutes prior to the launch.