Rocket Lab is developing a reusable launch vehicle named Neutron to compete with SpaceX’s Falcon 9. Neutron is scheduled to debut in 2024 and will have a launch price near $50 million, targeting a cost-per-kilogram basis to match Falcon 9’s $67 million price tag.
Rocket Lab plans to send each of the reusable Neutron boosters 10 to 20 times, and estimates a $20 million to $25 million cost of goods for each Neutron. Rocket Lab is going to preserve its position as a dominant space player in the market for launching small satellites with its Electron vehicles.
The company aims to blast off 15 missions this year and has stepped into building satellite components and spacecraft, which might become a major share of its quarterly revenue. Rocket Lab plans to create an end-to-end platform for customers who require space-based services and develop a recurring income source from operating satellites.
The company believes the best owner of a space asset is someone who can launch, as many current owners are unnatural owners of space assets. Rocket Lab sees an evident opportunity in space on the application side. The potential for SpaceX to pivot away from Falcon 9 missions could be an incredibly bullish thing for Neutron.