Rocket Lab Neutron

Summary

Neutron
FunctionOrbital launch vehicle
ManufacturerRocket Lab
Country of originUnited States
Size
Height40 m (130 ft)[1] (planned)
Stages2
Capacity
Payload to Low Earth orbit (LEO)
Mass8,000 kg (17,600 lb) (planned)
Payload to Moon
Mass2,000 kg (4,400 lb)[1] (planned)
Payload to Mars & Venus
Mass1,500 kg (3,300 lb) (planned)
Launch history
StatusDevelopment
Launch sitesMARS LP-0A (planned)
First stage
PropellantRP-1 / LOX (planned)

Neutron is a medium-lift two-stage launch vehicle under development by Rocket Lab. Announced on 1 March 2021, the vehicle is being designed to be capable of delivering an 8,000 kg (17,600 lb) payload to low Earth orbit, and will focus on the growing megaconstellation satellite delivery market.[2] The vehicle is expected to be operational sometime in 2024.[1] It uses LOX and kerosene propellant.[2]

Design

The rocket is expected to be 40 m (130 ft) tall with a 4.5 m (15 ft)-diameter payload fairing. Rocket Lab have said they are going to aim to make the first stage of the vehicle reusable with landings planned on a floating landing platform downrange in the Atlantic Ocean.[2][3]

Use

Neutron is designed to launch up to 8,000 kg (17,600 lb) of payload to a 400 km (250 mi) low Earth orbit. Rocket Lab also intends the design to be able to eventually support human spaceflight. [3]

Launch site

Neutron is expected to launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on the eastern coast of Virginia, at Launch Pad 0A.[4] The company is evaluating locations across the United States to build a factory to manufacture the new rocket. As of March 2021, Rocket Lab is planning for the first launch to take place no earlier than 2024.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Neutron". Rocket Lab. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d Foust, Jeff (1 March 2021). "Rocket Lab to go public through SPAC merger and develop medium-lift rocket". SpaceNews. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Rocket Lab Unveils Plans for New 8-Ton Class Reusable Rocket for Mega-Constellation Deployment" (Press release). Business Wire. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  4. ^ Foust, Jeff (2 March 2021). "Rocket Lab says SPAC deal will accelerate development of Neutron rocket". SpaceNews. Retrieved 4 March 2021.