With Neutron's debut coming up next year, are there any advantages of Rocket Labs design over SpaceX's Falcon 9 FT? The most obvious I can see are the attached fairings, but certainly with all the changes in shape and material, there must be more.

  • $\begingroup$ I mean not a huge amount. It's still a VTOVL TSTO, and so it's still got to keep fuel for landing. It's still not a huge shift from the norm. The biggest advantage I can see would be the fairing reuse, the integrated landing gear, and most of all: It's smaller than F9, so it can take more dedicated payloads to dedicated orbits. $\endgroup$ Jul 18 at 5:03
  • $\begingroup$ slightly related in an oblique way: Regulations preventing SpaceX from saying "no" if OneWeb asked them to launch their satellites? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 19 at 1:16
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Competitive pricing and “additional launch capacity” might be Good Enough to make a viable business. Or maybe not… $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Jul 19 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ SpaceX has been recovering many of their fairings recently so I'm not sure the attached fairings are actually a big benefit anyway. $\endgroup$ Jul 20 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ @DarthPseudonym - Maybe not huge, but not having to have marine assets on hand to go fish something out of the water and bring it back every launch would be beneficial as the margins come down $\endgroup$
    – David
    Jul 21 at 20:02


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