Rocket Lab Sets Launch Window For Next Capella Space Mission From Launch Complex 1

The upcoming mission will deliver another Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite for Capella Space to low Earth orbit as part of a multi-launch agreement to deploy the Acadia constellation.


Long Beach, California. July 9, 2024 – Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced it has set the launch window for its 51st Electron launch, a dedicated mission for American space tech company Capella Space (“Capella”).


The ‘A Sky Full Of SARs’ mission is scheduled to launch during a 14-day window that opens on July 21 NZST / July 20 UTC from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. The mission will deploy Capella’s Acadia-3 SAR satellite, a synthetic aperture radar satellite for Earth imagery and observation, to a mid-inclination 615km circular orbit to add to Capella’s existing SAR satellite constellation in low Earth orbit. 


The mission will be Rocket Lab’s fifth launch for Capella to build out the company’s Earth-imaging constellation. In addition to the launch service, Rocket Lab is providing Capella Space with a custom extended fairing for the Acadia-3 satellite on Electron and a separation system produced by Rocket Lab. Providing a tailored launch option along with the component for the safe and reliable deployment of Capella’s satellites on orbit, Rocket Lab’s dedicated launch service helps to streamline operations for Capella Space and enable them to focus more closely on their satellite’s capabilities and building out their constellation.


“It’s great to be heading back to the pad for Capella once again,” says Rocket Lab Founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “The team is focused on and dedicated to delivering this latest SAR satellite to orbit to build out Capella’s constellation, and we’re honored by their continued trust in Rocket Lab and Electron to help support their overarching mission.”


 “We’re looking forward to working with Rocket Lab again in order to continue expanding Capella’s constellation with our industry-leading, next-generation satellite technology,” says Capella Space CEO Frank Backes. “It’s with partners like Rocket Lab that we’re able to serve the mission requirements of our customers today with high-resolution, high-quality SAR imagery, building a fully-automated and reliable constellation to meet the needs of customers for tomorrow.”


Capella is an American space tech company with data and satellite solutions for government and commercial applications. Capella’s high-quality, high-resolution SAR imagery penetrates all weather conditions and captures clear imagery 24/7, day and night, anywhere on Earth, delivered through a fully-automated ordering and delivery platform. Capella’s existing SAR capabilities includes long-dwell imaging and extended duty-cycle – which results in more images collected per orbit than any other SAR systems. Acadia will augment Capella’s existing constellation with increased bandwidth and power, faster downlink speeds, and reduced latency.


This upcoming mission for Capella will be Rocket Lab’s ninth mission for 2024 and 51st Electron launch overall.


‘A Sky Full Of SARs’ mission details:

  • Launch window: NET July 21, NZST / July 20, UTC.
  • Launch location: Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, Mahia.
  • Launch Vehicle: Electron.
  • Satellite Operator: Capella Space.
  • Payload: SAR Earth-imaging Acadia satellite.
  • Orbital Destination: 615km circular Earth orbit.