Video: Peter Beck Gives Update on Rocket Lab’s Neutron Launcher

Video Caption: Meet Neutron. Building on Rocket Lab’s proven experience developing the Electron launch vehicle, the advanced 8-ton payload class Neutron launch vehicle is designed to transform space access by delivering reliable and cost-effective launch services for satellite mega-constellations, deep space missions and human spaceflight.

Editor’s Note: I did a Twitter thread with highlights of the video with images and commentary. I also provide background on why Peter Beck and Rocket Lab went back on their pledge to not build another rocket beyond the Electron small satellite launcher. (Spoiler alert: SpaceX!) I also look at the issues surrounding SpaceX’s #SuperHeavy, #Starship and #Starlink programs.

Rocket Lab Announces Neutron Development Update to be Provided on December 2, 2021

Neutron booster (Credit: Rocket Lab)

LONG BEACH, Calif., November 24, 2021 (Rocket Lab PR)–Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB), a leading launch and space systems company, today announced that it will provide the first major update on the development of the Neutron launch vehicle on December 2, 2021 at 8:00 am EST. The virtual event will be streamed live via Rocket Lab’s YouTube channel, which can be accessed at that time at https://youtu.be/A0thW57QeDM.

Join Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck as he reveals new details about Neutron’s unique design, materials, propulsion, and reusability architecture for the first time.

Building on Rocket Lab’s proven experience developing the Electron launch vehicle, the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket annually since 2019, the advanced Neutron launch vehicle is designed to transform space access by delivering reliable and cost-effective launch services for satellite mega-constellations, deep space missions and human spaceflight. Where Electron provides dedicated access to orbit for small satellites of up to 300 kg (660 lb), Rocket Lab expects Neutron will further expand space access for satellite constellations and provide a dependable, high-flight-rate dedicated launch solution for larger commercial and government payloads, and that Neutron will incorporate the best innovation of the past to deliver a rocket for the future.

Space System Command’s Launch Enterprise Awards Four Prototype Agreements

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (SSC PR) — Space Systems Command (SSC) is partnering with industry on prototype projects to invest in next-generation rocket engine testing and upper stage resiliency enhancements.

SSC’s Launch Enterprise today awarded FY21 prototype projects for Raptor Rapid Throttling and Restart Testing; Liquid Methane Specification Development and Testing; and Combustion Stability Analysis and Testing to SpaceX for $14.47 million, for Uplink Command and Control for Centaur V to United Launch Alliance for $24.35 million, for Upper Stage Development for Neutron to Rocket Lab for $24.35 million, and for Cryogenic Fluid Management for Glenn Stage 2 to Blue Origin for $24.35 million, under the National Security Space Launch program using the Space Development Corps’ Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC).

Prototype projects for orbital transfer and maneuver are anticipated for award in early FY22, pending congressional approval of the FY22 budget request;

SPACovirus Sweeps Space Sector

Richard Branson celebrates the first Virgin Galactic trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Credit Virgin Galactic)
Wall Street’s latest easy money craze has attracted a growing number of space companies. But, just because they can go public, should they?

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Seven space companies have gotten caught up in the SPACovirus sweeping through Wall Street. The impact on the space industry is going to be interesting to watch.

A SPAC is a special purpose acquisition company. It’s a publicly traded investment firm that, with outside investors, acquires or merges with another company, and then takes the acquisition public under its own name.

(more…)

Rocket Lab Goes SPAC: Company to Go Public in Merger with Vector Acquisition Corp.

Transaction will provide capital to fund development of reusable Neutron launch vehicle with an 8-ton payload lift capacity tailored for mega constellations, deep space missions and human spaceflight

Proceeds also expected to fund organic and inorganic growth in the space systems market and support expansion into space applications enabling Rocket Lab to deliver data and services from space

Business combination values Rocket Lab at an implied pro forma enterprise value of $4.1 billion. Pro forma cash balance of the combined company of approximately $750 million at close

End-to-end space company with an established track record, uniquely positioned to extend its lead across a launch, space systems and space applications market forecast to grow to $1.4 trillion by 2030

Transaction is expected to close in Q2 2021, upon which Rocket Lab will be publicly listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker RKLB

(more…)

Rocket Lab Unveils Plans for Larger Neutron Launch Vehicle Aimed at Mega-Constellations, Planetary Missions and Human Spaceflight

LONG BEACH, Calif., March 1, 2021 (Rocket Lab PR) — Rocket Lab today unveiled plans for its Neutron rocket, an advanced 8-ton payload class launch vehicle tailored for mega-constellation deployment, interplanetary missions and human spaceflight.   

Neutron will build on Rocket Lab’s proven experience developing the reliable workhorse Electron launch vehicle, the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket annually since 2019. Where Electron provides dedicated access to orbit for small satellites of up to 300 kg (660 lb), Neutron will transform space access for satellite constellations and provide a dependable, high-flight-rate dedicated launch solution for larger commercial and government payloads.

(more…)