THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Rocket Lab launched a radar imaging satellite for Japanese company Synspective March 12, the latest in a series of launches for that company.

A Rocket Lab Electron lifted off from the company’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand at 11:03 a.m. Eastern March 12. The launch, delayed three days by weather, took place at the end of the day’s launch window, about 75 minutes long, also on account of weather. The rocket deployed the StriX-3 satellite into sun-synchronous orbit about 54 minutes after liftoff.

The launch was the fourth Electron mission for Synspective, a company developing a constellation of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging satellites. Previous Synspective satellites launched on Electron missions in December 2020, February 2022 and September 2022.

Synspective has raised more than $200 million to deploy a constellation of SAR satellites, including a $100 million Series B round in March 2022. The company said at the time of the Series B round that it projected having a constellation of 30 satellites in orbit by 2026.

StriX-3 is the fourth Synspective satellite to launch to date, all with Rocket Lab. A multi-launch contract announced in July 2023 between the two companies includes two more Electron launches.

The launch, called “Owl Night Long” by Rocket Lab, was the 45th Electron launch overall and the third Electron mission so far this year. A fourth, for the National Reconnaissance Office, is scheduled for no earlier than March 20 from the company’s Launch Complex 2 site at Wallops Island, Virginia.

During the company’s Feb. 27 earnings call, Adam Spice, chief financial officer, said the company has 22 Electron launches manifested for the year, up from 10 launches in 2023. Two of the 22 are of the suborbital version called HASTE, which he said have a higher selling price than Electron orbital launches, but also higher costs because of range fees and mission assurance requirements.

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...