Rocket Lab unveiled new Neutron launch vehicle during livestream28th Dec 2021
Rocket Lab has quickly cemented itself as one of the world’s top premier launch vehicle developers and launch operators. Their Electron launch vehicle is the second most frequently launched rocket in the world since 2019. The Electron has an outstanding track record with 20 successes and three failures since 2017. Now, Rocket Lab has unveiled the world’s first carbon-composite launch vehicle called the Neutron.
Rocket Lab claims Neutron will be the future of space travel
According to Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Lab, Neutron is not a conventional rocket but a new breed of launcher emphasising reliability and cost reduction. It is based on the best innovations and cutting-edge tech.
Mr Beck explained that the next decade will see the launch of even more satellites than ever before, forming countless constellations. The Neutron rocket was designed with that thought in mind and will hold features that help position satellites within their constellations with amazing accuracy. Neutron’s design was heavily inspired by Rocket Lab’s Electron, which featured light but sturdy material and a compact size that allowed for fast, frequently and affordable launches.
Neutron’s structure will comprise almost entirely of specifically formulated carbon composite material that will make it lighter, more durable and able to withstand immense heat and force during launch. The rocket will also feature Rocket Lab’s brand-new rocket engine, Archimedes, which is developed in-house.
Neutron will put an end to wasteful rocket design
Rocket Lab’s first thought when designing Neutron was to make an environmentally safe and affordable launch vehicle that could be repurposed as many times as possible. The ‘Hungry Hippo’ fairing design will allow Rocket Lab to launch a carrier without losing parts of the rocket during launch. Unlike traditional stage separation, where parts of the rocket would land in the ocean and be unusable, Neutron’s design will allow for the preservation of an entirely functional first stage. This advanced design will reduce overall manufacturing costs and speed up launch capabilities across the board.
Rocket Lab is currently looking for an appropriate launch site for the Neutron rocket on the US East Coast.