RocketLabs 8 Ton Payload Reusable Rocket for 2024

Rocketlabs is in second place for making reusable rockets after SpaceX. Blue Origin is not in second place.

Rocketlabs has recovered the first stage already. Neutron wll feature a reusable first stage designed to land on an ocean platform, enabling a high launch cadence and decreased launch costs for customers.

Rocketlabs has launched 97 satellites to orbit. Rocketlabs had eight launches in 2020.

On 19 November 2020, a successful launch mission named “Return to Sender” deployed its payload of 29 smallsats into orbit. In addition to satellite deployment, a new method of the first stage recovery was successfully implemented. “After stage separation, the first stage will reorient itself for reentry, then deploy a drogue parachute and a larger main parachute before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean about 400 kilometers from the launch site.

Rocket Lab announced in March 2021 that they were developing a new medium-lift two-stage human rated launch vehicle called Neutron, capable of launching an 8 t (17,600 lb) payload to low-Earth orbit.

The rocket is expected to be 40 m (130 ft) tall with a 4.5 m (15 ft)-diameter 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 ocean.

Successful Rocket Companies Get Rockets and Payloads to Orbit or Beyond

Blue Origin is also behind several Chinese rocket companies. There are several working on hop tests and attempting recovery and reuse of first stages. Many of those chinese companies are also successfully launching to orbit.

Even more successful rocket companies reuse the first stage or all of the rocket. SpaceX has recovered and reused the first stages. SpaceX is leading the way to full reuse. Blue Origin has flown to 107 kilometers.

Blue Origin’s first orbital rocket, the New Glenn has its first launch delayed to late in 2022.

SOURCES- Rocketlab, Blue Origin, SpaceX, Space News, Wikipedia
Written By Brian Wang,

23 thoughts on “RocketLabs 8 Ton Payload Reusable Rocket for 2024”

  1. As a consolation prize, Beck was presented by team members with a hat cake for being a good sport.

  2. Beck was a good sport for eating that tidbit of hat (will it blend?), but as posters over at NSF have pointed out, the fact that the engine for Neutron isn't pinned down yet despite the short timeline is odd. Either they have an external engine provider lined up (some speculation it could be an AR-1 derivative), or have been testing an uprated Rutherford engine. It's unlikely they can start a new engine development process from scratch to meet that timeline. It was commonly thought that it would be self defeating to build an electrically pumped rocket engine greater than about 10000 lbsf thrust, as the difficulty/cost of manufacturing a power turbine in a conventional rocket turbopump goes down while the overall energy density rises beyond what lithium batteries can provide. Clearly the propulsion team seems to think they might have a workaround for electrically pumped rocket engines at larger sizes if they are still proposing an in-house solution that isn't a from-scratch design.

  3. The military is looking at ISM/AM using launched stock, big advantage there is design that does not have to be folded or withstand launch forces, so maybe 10* lighter. But O'Neill is all about extraterrestrial resources, "bootstrapping" he called it, to escape launch as possible. NASA sez "In Situ Resource Use", I say "in Space RU" to allow the resources to move before being used. So, "straight to O'Neill" is what Bezos IS doing, setting up lunar mining. "step by step, furiously". Musk is planning to launch refuel rockets.

  4. When did NASA fund Starlink?
    SpaceX started BFR/BFS before Moon contract.
    When did NASA ask for reusable?

    Near as I can tell BO is like any other defense contractor who won't wipe their rear unless they get a cost plus contract for toilet paper.

    If they don't like being viewed that way then I don't know maybe they could do something.

  5. They used to get paid by the slide but nowadays they are paid by the pixel. HD has been good to them.

  6. BO needs Bezos to cut a $10 billion check so that they can just go straight to O'Neil. 3D print it in LEO and move it to LLO using ion thrusters.

  7. The running joke at Boeing was "when the paperwork equals the weight of the hardware, its ready to fly". On the Space Station program, it was literally true. I worked on it, and visiting the data vault where all the documents got archived, I estimated the mass of paper, and sure enough, it exceeded the ISS module mass.

  8. Bezos has NASA funding for lunar stuff Bezos wants to do. He has cleverly pushed the crew aspects off to others, just being the manager. He is doing the basic lander, robot or crew, as he would do anyway. DOD launches are another matter, big $$$.

  9. BO has tested the landing system already, for unprepared site automated landing. BO far ahead in the $$ producing Moon and orbit/O'Neill projects, as Musk has no such thing at all. BE-4 has a good chance of beating Musk Raptor to orbit boost, as ULA is using them too. The rest is fuel tanks.

  10. This isn't right. New Glenn is much more advanced & powerful than Rocketlabs Neutron which launches no sooner than 2024. So BO surpasses everyone except SpaceX as soon as NG launches next year.

    Is anyone other than SpaceX–even in China–working on a fully reusable rocket? If not, then they are all at least a decade behind SpaceX.

  11. BO is building a revolutionary hydrogen rocket that for sure will be used by some of these companies, is more useful for mining fuel in space and better for the environment than SpaceX. The size of their rocket is also bigger, than those startups so their contribution is already sealed. The constant mindset of strict winners and total failures is simplistic, false and misleading, it lacks the basic understanding that industries work in eco systems.

  12. The difference of paying lip service to a cause and being committed to make said cause real.

    The numbers of years anyone have are limited, and even less are the years when people retain the energy and desire to accomplish great things.

  13. If Bezos really cared about space he would skip NASA funding and strings and just self fund his rocket launches.

    Also if Gates really cared about carbon free nuclear power he would skip begging governments for money and self fund his reactor.

    Both these tech titans combined are half the entrepreneur of Musk.

  14. If BO gets New Glenn by 2022 I'll applaud, but it seems it will actually be 2023.

    When someone specifies 'late' plus some year, it's Q1 or Q2 of the next year after said date.

  15. Read an article about how BO decided to become a "proper contractor".

    BO's ratio of PPTs to metric tons in LEO is infinite so yes they are a proper contractor.

  16. Yes, I'm getting increasingly disenchanted with Blue Origin, especially with this recent schedule slippage. They may have some good engines, but they clearly don't have any fire in the belly.

    Perhaps it comes of having a deep pocket backing them.

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