Rocket Lab has another booster in development.
A diagram showing the planned Rocket Lab Neutron Rocket, a medium-lift partially reusable vehicle which will be launched by the company in 2024. (Rocket Lab's image credit)
A new bigger launcher called neutron was announced by the California company, which regularly gives small satellites orbiting by their electron rocket. The day after a scheduled merger with Vector Acquisition Corporation, which will help finance Neutron work, Rocket Lab also showed that it will become publicly traded.
The Neutron, which is anticipated to start in 2024 in 130 feet, can be launched to low Earth orbit in a total of up to eight metric tonnes (17,600 lbs or 8,000 kilograms). Its first stage will be reusable, and soon after the launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, it will land on a ship on the sea.
Rocket Lab had been saying long that the launch of relatively small, expensive vehicles would be content. Peter Beck, the founding director and CEO of Rocket Lab, even promised to eat his hat if it was ever renewed. Beck felt it was time to keep his promises with the news from Neutron and Rocket Lab's progress on making Electron's first stage usable – well, stretched, as the announced video from Rocket Lab's Neutron shows.
Neutron is mainly tailored to support satellite constellations, but Rocket Lab considers that it can also be used for other potential uses. The medium-lift racket, for instance, could finally start missions to the moon, Mars, and Venus and it will have all the security characteristics needed for crew flight.