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Dec 4, 2021

Rocket Lab reveals new details of its powerful Neutron launch vehicle

Posted by in categories: materials, space travel

Neutron’s structure will be comprised of a new, specially formulated carbon composite material that is lightweight, strong, and can withstand the immense heat and forces of launch and re-entry again and again to enable frequent re-flight of the first stage. The launch vehicle will also be mostly reusable, designed to land on a landing pad after launch. It starts with Neutron’s unique shape, a tapered rocket with a wide base to provide a robust, stable base for landing, eliminating the need for complex mechanisms and landing legs.

“Neutron is not a conventional rocket. It’s a new breed of the launch vehicle with reliability, reusability, and cost reduction that is hard-baked into the advanced design from day one. Neutron incorporates the best innovations of the past and marries them with cutting-edge technology and materials to deliver a rocket for the future,” said Peter Beck, Rocket Lab founder, and CEO.

At 40 meters (131 feet) tall with a 4.5-meter (14.7 ft) diameter, the Neutron rocket will be more than double the size of the Electron. Neutron will be powered by seven entirely new rocket engines, called Archimedes – a reusable liquid oxygen/methane gas generator cycle engine capable of 1-meganewton thrust and 320 seconds of ISP. The rocket will be capable of putting between eight and 15 tons into low Earth orbit.

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