Neutron: Rocket Lab rocket can do manned missions
Rocket Lab has announced the development of a rocket that could support manned missions. Named Neutron, it will have the capacity to place 8 tons in low orbit around the Earth, and is due to make the initial flight in 2024.
The American company already has a track record of 16 successful launches with Electron, a rocket designed for loads of up to 300 kilograms.
It was the first rocket built with carbon fiber compounds and the first equipped with a fully 3D printed engine, called Rutheford.
But Neutron will be something completely different. It will be 40 meters high, more than double its predecessor, with a diameter of 4 and a half meters and will be certified for manned missions.
In addition to the 8 tons for low orbit, it will be able to put two tons in lunar orbit. According to the company, it will be fully recoverable.
An illustration of the rocket shows “legs” for vertical landing, just like the SpaceX Falcon 9.
The announcement of the new reusable rocket was accompanied by a touch of good humor. Rocket Lab CEO and founder Peter Beck said earlier that the company's focus would be exclusively on the small satellite launch market.
That is, without concern for the reusability of rockets. At the time, the executive said he would “eat his hat”, if that changed.
Now, in a video produced by the company, Beck grinds a cap with the Electron logo in a blender and chews some of the fibers. And he confesses that the hat is not tasty ...
At least that promise he kept, didn't he? Now let's wait for the new rocket!