In late October, Rocket Lab successfully conducted its 15th Electron launch, deploying imaging satellites for Planet and Canon Electronics. The mission marked Rocket Lab’s fifth for the year and puts it on pace for a first stage recovery attempt in November.
“Congratulations to Planet on the addition of their latest SuperDoves to their constellation and to the team at Canon Electronics on the deployment of their latest tech demonstration satellite,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “Electron has once again delivered a smooth ride to orbit and precise deployment for our individual rideshare customers. Continuing to launch in the face of global disruption and adversity, while at the same time becoming the second-most frequently flown U.S. launch vehicle this year, is the latest display of our dedication in providing ongoing, easy access to space for our customers.”
The “In Focus” launch took place from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 (LC-1) in New Zealand on October 28, 2020, with the Electron vehicle successfully deploying ten commercial satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO).
Passengers on board the launch included nine of Planet’s SuperDove 3U satellites, enhancing Planet’s medium-resolution global coverage with multi-spectral data. Canon Electronic’s single CE-SAT-11B small satellite leverages the company’s photography and optical expertise by packaging a couple of telescopes and cameras into a satellite.
If successful, the Canon satellite would help the company to sell its cameras and optics as an off-the-shelf item for others building imaging satellites as well as lead to a constellation of over 100 Canon-operated imaging satellites generating data for commercial use. Canon believes the satellite industry can generate close to $1 billion dollars for the company by 2030.