A couple of weeks ago, Rocket Labs founder and CEO, Peter Beck, released a video of him sitting down, cutting, blending, and eating his own hat. This part of the video was a play on the idiom of eating your own hat when you say something and then do the opposite of what you said. For Rocket Labs and Peter Beck, that was making a big rocket.
Peter Beck went on to complain about how his hat tasted, then introduced the big rocket they were making, also revealing that he was sitting inside the fairing of their next rocket. The rocket’s name is Neutron. It has an 8 ton payload capacity and the capability of reuse of the first stage. It will have a 4.5 meter diameter and be 40 meters in length. This makes it a medium-lift launch vehicle capable of reuse. For comparison, the Falcon 9 is also a medium lift launch vehicle.
With this move, Rocket Labs seems to be aiming for the capability of launching complete constellations of mini satellites, or being able to launch lighter, but bigger payloads, an industry which the Electron rocket cannot reach into. The Neutron rocket will only be able to launch out of Virginia due to its size, so Virginia will probably be getting the show that Florida is with the Falcon 9, but at a smaller size as the Neutron rocket is smaller than the entire first stage of a Falcon 9.