Rocket Lab Launches First Four NorthStar Earth & Space Satellites

Rocket Lab launch of the Electron rocket with four space situational awareness satellites for NorthStar Earth and Space Image credit: Rocket Lab.

Eight years, almost to the day, after NorthStar Earth and Space founder and CEO Stewart Bain spoke at the first Canadian SmallSat Symposium about his vision on the importance of Space Situational Awareness (SSA), the companies first four satellites we’re launched earlier today.

The launch at at 1:34 a.m. EST (19:34 NZDT / 06:34 UTC) from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand appeared flawless.

On LinkedIn Bain said this in part of the launch, “So proud of our NorthStar Earth & Space team after this successful launch into orbit this morning. Commercial Space Based SSA is now here.” He included the image below of the staff watching the launch in Montreal.

NorthStar Earth and Space staff watch the launch from New Zealand in the wee hours today from near their headquarters in Montreal
NorthStar Earth and Space staff watch the launch from New Zealand in the wee hours today from near their headquarters in Montreal. Image Credit: Stewart Bain/NorthStar Earth and Space.

In a press release Rocket Lab said the Electron rocket deployed the four SSA “satellites to a 530km circular Earth orbit where the satellites, built and operated by Spire, will monitor near-Earth objects from space to provide timely and precise information for space object detection, tracking, orbit determination, collision avoidance, navigation, and proximity alerts.”

Prior to the launch some members of the company, including founder and CEO Stewart Bain, where on hand at the Rocket Lab launch facility in New Zealand. Image credit: NorthStar Earth and Space.

The satellites launched today are the first four of a planned initial 12 SSA satellite constellation. In December the company announced its latest round of funding of $20 million, bringing the total funds raised in 2023 by the company to $67 million.

Watch a replay of the launch of the Rocket Lab “Four of a Kind” electron launch.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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