Rocket Lab challenges SpaceX with big Neutron rocket

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RESTRICTIONS: Broadcast: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN Digital: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN
Up to now, Rocket Lab has been launching small rockets from its launch site on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula, using its lightweight rocket, called Electron, to launch small payloads like CubeSats into space.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Map sequence shows Australasia, zoom into Mahia Peninsula of NZ
2. View of R Lab's current Electron rocket, size relative to humans as they prepare launch
3. Electron rocket launch sequence from Mahia Peninsula, climbing into sky
4. Release of small satellite as Electron booster reaches apogee above Earth
5. Compare small Electron to massive Falcon 9 rocket, showing cargo loads, launch costs
6. Between the small and giant rockets appears the mid-sized Neutron rocket, show cargo bay size

VOICEOVER (in English):
CNBC reports that New Zealand's small-rocket specialist, Rocket Lab, has broken its promise to stick to small, non-reusable rockets. It will now start to challenge SpaceX in the construction and launching of large, reusable rockets.

The company has been launching small rockets from its launch site on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula, using its lightweight rocket, called Electron, to launch small payloads like CubeSats into space.

This Electron rocket was designed to carry only 230 kilograms of cargo to orbit, for roughly 7 million dollars per launch.

Meanwhile, SpaceX's workhorse — the Falcon 9 — can carry 22,7 tons to the same orbit, for about 60 million dollars.

Rocket Lab's stated goal was to try to launch lots of cheap rockets every three days or so, to open up space to a wave of new customers.

With its planned new Neutron rocket, however, Rocket Lab puts itself in much closer competition with SpaceX.

The 40-meter-tall rocket should be able to carry more than 8 tons to orbit. Like the Falcon 9, it would be reusable and able to carry humans.


SOURCES: Bloomberg, CNBC, Space.com
https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/a-750-million-spac-injection-puts-rocket-lab-in-direct-competition-with-spacex
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/01/rocket-lab-going-public-via-spac-with-neutron-rocket-expansion.html
https://www.space.com/rocket-lab-unveils-neutron-rocket-company-going-public