Fretting Freddy the Ferret pressing the Fret
Imagine if this could be re-used? This is probably a bit further in the future.
If they can truly deliver a 90% cost savings to orbit SpaceX might have an actual competitor. That is assuming they can scale it up to a larger design. They would definitely take over the small launch market even if this is their only rocket.
We are definitely living in interesting times.
Leonard Foster Jr
Nice! But it still can be done for less than a million.
Captain Obvious
The video described...nothing.
Dave Lawrence
I have a friend who would like to be the first to be strapped to one of these and shot into space
Finally, a breakthrough! I bet the lack of govt. regs/taxation had a lot to do with helping this innovation. The tech economy will shift now. It can go anywhere business friendly, e.g., a small, limited govt.
I expect the next paradigm shift in gravity escape will be a space elevator.
Well they might have reduced the launch costs for launching a single rocket into orbit. But I think the more important number here is payload costs to orbit. This rocket only has 150 kg to LEO while the SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 delivers 13150 kg. Looking at the rocket costs of 4.9 Million and 61.2 Million respectively we arrive at payload costs to LEO of 32700 €/kg for the Electron and 4700 €/kg for the Falcon. I don' think SpaceX has anything to fear here!
Sources for numbers:
I would like to see the cost for a 100 kg payload to a 500 km orbit from the companies that are currently providing that service. The Rocket Lab design appears to be innovative & a major improvement over traditional designs but the basic physics of rocketry haven't changed.
Jim Cline
Re a space elevator being the next paradigm shift in space access, it will be interesting to see how that works out. Since either the anchored tether linear space elevator swung around by Earth's rotation, or the functional equivalent internal-centrifugal-supported hoop-type space escalator transportation structures, are both anchored to the Earth, meaning that they travel through the LEO space at the same angular velocity as does the Earth. This means that any LEO satellites not in careful orbits, will tend to eventually slam in to either type elevator/escalator at relative velocities of say 30,000 km/h, making a big mess of both. So there will need to be some agreement with the owners of the swarms of small sats in LEO, to first alter their orbits or de-orbit them, before either a space elevator or space escalator transportation structure can be built and last very long, to enable large scale human access to space.
This is NOT a battery powered rocket. The rocket is powered by the energy stored in the oxygen-hydorgen liquid propellent!!!
The rocket PUMP is powered by a battery… and the engine is recovered by a helicopter snare.