Rocket Lab CEO, Peter Beck, Believes SpaceX’s Starship Plan is Flawed21st Feb 2022
In a recent interview with Inverse, Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Lab, has expressed doubts about Elon Musk’s upcoming Starship rocket. Musk’s company, SpaceX, has been working on Starship since 2017, and the craft is still under development. The rocket will hold up to 100 tonnes of payload and will support SpaceX’s future goal of taking humans to Mars. However, Musk has also stated that he plans to replace current SpaceX vehicles, Dragon, Falcon 9, and Falcon Heavy, with Starship. These ships are currently used to put satellite constellations, like SpaceX’s Starlink, into low Earth orbit. While Peter Beck says that Starship is perfect for travelling to Mars, the Rocket Lab CEO doubts its capacity and practicality for constellation launches.
SpaceX’s Starship Too Large for Constellation Launches, Claims CEO
Speaking with Inverse, the Rocket Lab CEO stated that a larger payload was not necessarily a plus when it comes to launching multiple small satellites. Current Falcon 9 crafts can launch around 16 tonnes (60 satellites) into orbit. While Starship’s capacity would increase this payload drastically, Beck doubts whether the additional cost of sending a larger ship is worth the results. Using smaller rockets, instead, allows for more targeted satellite placement and cheaper launches which will use less fuel.
Small Rockets May Beat Large Crafts for Efficient Launches
When it comes to small, efficient launch crafts, Rocket Lab has first-hand experience. Their own rocket, Neutron, can take around 8 tonnes of payload. With other satellites constellations, like Amazon’s Project Kuiper, on the horizon, the Rocket Lab CEO is confident that small crafts are up to the task.