Next SpaceX competitor? Rocket Lab reveals details of Neutron, the new reusable rocket that will be able to perform manned interplanetary travel
December 3, 2021 02:34 GMT
The company claims that the vehicle will be ideal for launching medium-sized satellites that are part of huge towers intended to provide broadband coverage of the Earth.
On Thursday, the American space company, Rocket Lab, revealed the details of its future and most powerful rocket, neutron, a launch vehicle optimized to put satellites into orbit for future mega towers.
The Neutron will be the world’s first large-scale carbon launch vehicle. It will be reusable for the most part and will have a wide base that provides a sturdy and stable platform for landing, eliminating the need for complex landing gear and legs.
“This is not a conventional missile. This is what a rocket should look like in 2050. But we’re building it today,” said Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Lab, during an offerLive broadcast on YouTube.
The neutron will be powered by Archimedes, a brand new, reusable rocket engine in-house designed and manufactured by Rocket Lab. The first stage of the rocket will be powered by seven motors, while the second stage will require one vacuum-optimized motor.
The missile is 40 meters high, 7 meters in diameter and 5 meters in diameter. The body is made of carbon fibre. The missile is said to be capable of carrying up to 15 tons of payload to low Earth orbit if launched once, while in the case of multiple launches, the payload is reduced to 8 tons. The company previously said that the first neutron launch into space is planned for 2024.
However, Beck envisions other opportunities for the rocket, such as Manned space flights between planets. “We wanted to make sure we didn’t get into too much trouble making a launch vehicle that couldn’t be certified to humans and capable of human spaceflight.” Indian Pick A The Verge.
Rocket Lab already has a rocket named Electron, which the company has launched since 2017. It was created to bring relatively small satellites into low Earth orbit, making it the second most launched US rocket in recent years after SpaceX’s Falcon 9.