Synspective and Arianespace have signed a contract to launch the StriX-α Synthetic Aperture Radar demonstrator satellite.
On 18th April 2019, Arianespace announced the signing of a launch service contract with Synspective of Japan for the launch of the StriX-α satellite (with a liftoff mass of approximately 150kg) into a Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) in 2020.
This will be the inaugural mission for a Synspective customer spacecraft on an Arianespace vehicle. The launch will take place from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana using a Vega launcher.
Synspective is a Japanese startup company that plans to establish a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite constellation of about 25 satellites and provide geospatial solutions.
Gathering broad and high frequency monitoring data, Synspective aims to enable companies and governments to achieve their goal for sustainable development and resilient urban development through visualisation and prediction of economic activity, monitoring of terrain and structure and immediate understanding of disaster situations.
In addition to the launch service contract, Synspective and Arianespace signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement to study a future cooperation.
Arianespace carried out 11 launches from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in French Guiana in 2018, orbiting 21 satellites. Three of these successful missions were performed for Japanese customers, all using the Ariane 5 launcher:
The DSN-1/Superbird 8 satellite was orbited on 5th April 2018 for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation;
Horizons 3e, co-owned by Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, was launched on 25th September 2018, during a mission that also marked the 100th launch of Ariane 5;
The BepiColombo mission (carrying two probes), a joint initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese space agency JAXA to explore the planet Mercury, was launched on 19th October 2018.