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Thread: Rocket Lab

  1. #1
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    Rocket Lab

    With the progress that Rocket Lab has made in launching rockets, it deserves its own thread. Starting this thread with its move into reusability.

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/S...ility_999.html

    Rocket Lab intends to use a much different system to recover its first-stage booster than SpaceX, which flies boosters back to launch pads using liquid propellant fuel.

    Instead, Rocket Lab will fly the booster back into the atmosphere on a specific path. It will then deploy parachutes, slow down and eventually get snagged by a helicopter.

    After testing the parachutes and descent systems several times, the company believes any risk to the overall mission is "very, very low," Beck said.

    The first attempt to recover a booster, still intended for 2020, will be on a flight with a paying customer, but none of the systems needed for booster recovery will be activated until the payload is deployed, Beck said.
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  2. #2
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    Scott Manley has done some nice videos on Rocket Lab, I'll link to a couple of them below.

    LINK 1

    LINK 2 (stuff about 3D printing and what is an "electron" rocket).
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    "Rocket Lab’s first step towards SpaceX-style rocket reuse set for next Electron launch"

    https://www.teslarati.com/rocket-lab...se-first-step/

    Just over a year ago, Rocket Lab announced intentions to recover the first-stage of its small Electron launch vehicle, potentially making it the second private company on Earth – after SpaceX – to attempt to recover and reuse an orbital-class rocket.

    In a media call earlier this week, Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck, revealed that the first recovery attempt has been expedited to mid-November and will occur following the next flight of Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket.
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    "Rocket Lab has successfully recovered a booster for the first time"

    https://www.technologyreview.com/202...rst-time-ever/

    New Zealand company Rocket Lab has hit a key milestone with the successful launch and recovery of its flagship Electron rocket. The mission, the firm’s 16th so far, included a soft parachute landing of the first-stage booster to the ocean for the first time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    "Rocket Lab has successfully recovered a booster for the first time"

    https://www.technologyreview.com/202...rst-time-ever/
    This is just fantastic, though 'chutes won't work for medium and heavy boosters. That said, I'd love to see them compete with larger vehicles (Neutron? Higgs? Hmmm...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    "Rocket Lab has successfully recovered a booster for the first time"

    https://www.technologyreview.com/202...rst-time-ever/
    More power to them!
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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    Truax is smiling

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    Weren't they supposed to catch it with a helicopter? Baby steps, I suppose.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Weren't they supposed to catch it with a helicopter? Baby steps, I suppose.
    Not on this occasion, they were testing the steering and parachute systems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    Not on this occasion, they were testing the steering and parachute systems.
    More details on the booster recovery. Some parts will apparently re-fly. No word on the engines.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020...s-will-re-fly/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    More details on the booster recovery. Some parts will apparently re-fly. No word on the engines.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020...s-will-re-fly/
    I think that was more than they were hoping for on this test, so a big step forward.

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    Rocket Lab has launched Japanese radar satellite. congratulations

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/12/1...status-center/

    Liftoff of Rocket Lab’s Electron launcher with StriX-α, the first of a planned constellation of 30 radar Earth observation satellites for the Japanese company Synspective.
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  14. #14
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    YESSS!!! Rocket Lab NEUTRON!!

    8 ton class for megaconstellations

    Human rated!!

    HEIGHT: 40 m / 131 ft
    FAIRING DIAMETER: 4.5 m
    PAYLOAD TO LEO: 8,000 kg
    PAYLOAD TO VENUS: 1500 kg
    PROPELLANT: LOX / Kerosene

    WHEN: 2024


    LAUNCH ON REPEAT
    Neutron features a reusable first stage designed to land on an ocean platform, enabling a high launch cadence and decreased launch costs for customers.

    https://youtu.be/agqxJw5ISdk

    https://twitter.com/RocketLab/status...58673522499588

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    Scott Manley's analysis of Neutron, including questions about financing, the market they are trying to compete in, and questions about design.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    "Rocket Lab reveals reusable, medium-lift Neutron rocket"

    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021...veals-neutron/

    To date, Rocket Lab has successfully introduced the first dedicated small satellite launch vehicle, Electron, which CEO Peter Beck said would never be reusable. Then, the company successfully recovered a first stage. Now, Beck says Rocket Lab is ready to do something else he previously said they’d never do: build a big rocket.

    The Neutron launch vehicle is a reusable, eight tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) rocket designed primarily to build satellite constellations. But Neutron will also be designed from the beginning to be capable of resupplying space stations in LEO and even flying crew, yet another market Beck had previously distanced himself from.


    Beck’s decision to metaphorically “eat his hat” is based on feedback from Electron customers, including pathfinder missions for future constellations where the satellite operator has developed a relationship with Rocket Lab.
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    "Rocket Lab reveals reusable, medium-lift Neutron rocket"

    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021...veals-neutron/

    To date, Rocket Lab has successfully introduced the first dedicated small satellite launch vehicle, Electron, which CEO Peter Beck said would never be reusable. Then, the company successfully recovered a first stage. Now, Beck says Rocket Lab is ready to do something else he previously said they’d never do: build a big rocket.

    The Neutron launch vehicle is a reusable, eight tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) rocket designed primarily to build satellite constellations. But Neutron will also be designed from the beginning to be capable of resupplying space stations in LEO and even flying crew, yet another market Beck had previously distanced himself from.


    Beck’s decision to metaphorically “eat his hat” is based on feedback from Electron customers, including pathfinder missions for future constellations where the satellite operator has developed a relationship with Rocket Lab.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    "Rocket Lab reveals reusable, medium-lift Neutron rocket"

    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021...veals-neutron/
    You've posted the same thing twice two weeks apart.

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    8 tons...that's R-7's sweet spot. Musk might want to partner with these guys. Now if this were housed on Mars what would its payload be? I just had this image pop in my head of not Starship-but a one off Super Heavy just sticking out of a Mars hole-grid fins across the top as ramps---serving as an elevator/silo/pad for something this size to keep Mars dust out. Other silos for water.Neutron-maybe more than Starship-might be the key to human spaceflight. You could make kero on Mars too, right? Cut off Super-Heavy's bells as exhaust ports for Neutron-turbopumps for other things...
    Last edited by publiusr; 2021-Mar-19 at 08:35 PM.

  20. #20
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    Beck’s decision to metaphorically “eat his hat”
    Metaphorically? So you haven't seen him actually throw his hat in a blender and eat it?

    I don't know about Musk partnering with Elektron, but I think that at least part of Musk is happy to see other worthy companies stepping up to go next-gen.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Metaphorically? So you haven't seen him actually throw his hat in a blender and eat it?
    Well, he swallowed a small bit of cloth from the blender. I doubt he ate the rest off camera. I don’t blame him, but it isn’t how I would picture actually eating a hat.

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  22. #22
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    Actually it's closer than I've ever expected someone get to actually doing it. The way things are going, we'll have a very different rocket world 15 years from now.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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