Rocket Lab to Launch NorthStar’s Commercial Space Situational Awareness Satellites Built by Spire Global

Rocket Lab to Launch NorthStar’s Commercial Space Situational Awareness Satellites Built by Spire Global

Rocket Lab USA, one of the global leaders in launch services and space systems, announced that it has signed a dedicated launch deal with Spire Global to deliver its first four Space Situational Awareness (SSA) satellites to low Earth orbit for its Space Services customer NorthStar Earth & Space.

The dedicated mission on Electron will deploy the satellites to a 530 km circular orbit from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand during a launch window that opens in September 2023. To meet NorthStar’s program requirements, Spire has selected Rocket Lab to launch the satellites on an accelerated timeline within five months of contract signing. Spire has previously launched with Rocket Lab on Electron’s first two commercial missions, Still Testing and Its Business Time, in 2018.

NorthStar, headquartered in Montreal, Canada, is the first commercial SSA service provider to actively scan and monitor space from space. NorthStar's block of four satellites, built and operated by Spire, will be the first to simultaneously monitor all near-Earth orbits from space, delivering a radically enhanced level of SSA services to the global satellite community, with timely and precise information for space object detection, tracking, orbit determination, collision avoidance, navigation, and proximity alerts.

Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck, said: “As with all satellite constellations, the precise placement of the first satellites for a particular mission is critical to the constellation’s future success. With Electron’s agility, reliability, and proven precision to place satellites exactly where they need to go, dedicated missions like this one for Spire and NorthStar are our bread and butter. Space debris is a global issue and the responsibility of all space users, so it’s great to be supporting a mission with a focus on making Earth’s orbit safer for everyone.”

This mission was originally manifested to launch with a now-defunct launch provider but has been added to Rocket Lab’s 2023 launch manifest to provide an expedited launch, demonstrating Rocket Lab’s proven flexible and responsive launch capability.

Stewart Bain, CEO of NorthStar, said: "With the untimely setback in launch services, maintaining NorthStar’s plan to launch this year has presented an exceptional challenge. But we are confident that we have found an excellent, proven launch specialist in Rocket Lab. We recognize the highly effective effort from both Spire Global and Rocket Lab to preserve our plans to make a meaningful contribution to the safety and sustainability of space by launching our unique services this fall.”

Frank Frulio, general manager of Spire Space Services, said: “We developed the Space as a Service model to take the previously prohibitive cost, complexity, and risk out of the equation. This allows innovative companies like NorthStar to develop and deploy cutting-edge solutions from the vantage point of space, focusing on solving some of the most significant problems we face today. Rocket Lab offers the flexibility of a dedicated launch that meets the requirements of NorthStar's mission, giving us the ability to launch the satellites on our timeline and to the exact orbit needed.”

Click here to learn more about Rocket Lab's Launch Services.

Publisher: SatNow

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013