Rocket Lab unveils Neutron, its 8-ton LEO rocket, reusable and ready for interplanetary missions or manned flights
Not everything will be SpaceX. The aerospace startup founded in New Zealand, Rocket Lab, is gaining strength in the sector. Following the success of their Electron light rocket, they have now announced Neutron, your future much bigger and more powerful rocket, in addition to being reusable. A rocket that will start flying in 2024 if all plans go according to plan.
Electron was Rocket Lab’s first great product and with which they have begun to generate income. Given its small size, production and launch costs are much lower than other rockets, so it has been extremely useful for sending loads of loads into space and in rapid iterations. Nevertheless its small size is also its disadvantage: it cannot carry large loads, travel very far or carry, for example, humans inside it.
The solution for this that Rocket Lab raises is a new rocket. Is about Neutron, an eight-ton beast designed to be reusable and again. Its purpose is also different, it will be used for interplanetary missions, missions to the International Space Station and manned flights.
Never say Never
Years ago Peter Beck, founder of Rocket Lab, said at the time that they would never refuse a rocket or build others larger than Electron. He said he would eat his cap otherwise. No sooner said than done. Nuetron, in addition to being reusable, is also larger. The CEO of the company surely has already learned that “never say never”, after having (literally) eaten his cap.
The video of the Neutron ad is worth it just to see how Peter Beck ingests traces of his cap, but also for some extra images and details from Nuetron:
— Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) March 1, 2021
In the video you can see part of the Neutron rocket and how gigantic it is thanks to its tip compared to Peter Beck. As indicated, will have a size of 40 meters, compared to the 18 meters of Electron or the 70 meters of the Falcon 9. Its fairing is 4.5 meters in diameter.
As far as power is concerned, it has a ability to lift 8,000 kg of weight to low Earth orbit. To the Moon it can carry 2,000 kg while Venus is capable of carrying 1,500 kg. It has two stages and the first of them is the one that recovers and lands on the earth’s surface back. The Electron are captured in the air actually.
As described in the video, the Neutron rocket will arrive sometime in 2024. Unlike the Electron rockets that are launched directly off the coast of New Zealand, the Neutron rocket will use NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility launch pad in the United States. They say that this saves manufacturing costs for a new platform and time.
More information | Rocket Lab