The 5 new rockets to watch out for in 2024.

Sarah Wall

The 5 new rockets to watch out for in 2024

 

Five new rockets launching in 2024

The past few years have seen several companies debut new launch vehicles in a race to offer more competitive access to space, including Japan’s H3, Relativity Space’s Terran 1, and ABL Space Systems’ RS1. 2024 is already continuing that trend, starting with United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan debut in January.
If schedules hold, this year could see even more new rockets take to space for the first time.
Here are five of the most anticipated new rockets of 2024.
New Rockets Launching 2024

1. Arianespace’s Ariane 6.

In development since 2014, Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket is four years behind schedule but is finally close to launching. The heavy-lift rocket is a replacement for the Ariane 5, which retired last July.
In addition to being cheaper, Ariane 6 has a key upgrade – the auxiliary power unit – that enables multiple restarts of the upper-stage engine.
The European Space Agency is waiting on Ariane 6 to launch a slew of missions for space exploration, navigation, and other purposes. Amazon also plans to use the rocket to launch internet satellites for its Project Kuiper constellation.
New Rockets Launching 2024

2. Blue Origin’s New Glenn.

Like Europe’s Ariane 6, Blue Origin’s New Glenn is four years behind schedule but appears on track to reach orbit this year. The massive rocket is designed to carry 45 metric tons to low Earth orbit and boasts a 7-meter fairing, the largest in the industry.
Blue Origin released photos in January of New Glenn’s first and second stages mated together, a key milestone ahead of launch. Owned by Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin also has a contract with Amazon to launch Kuiper internet satellites, but the company’s first orbital mission is a NASA Mars mission called ESCAPADE.
New Rockets Launching 2024

3. Gilmour Space’s Eris.

Australia wasn’t always a hotbed for space startups, but the number has surged as the country invests more in home-grown space ventures. Leading the march to orbit is Gilmour Space with its Eris rocket.
The company aims to launch a Block 1 version of the rocket carrying 150 kg to a 500-kilometer equatorial orbit, then scaling to a 1,000-kilogram version by 2027. Gilmour Space also has plans for a rocket capable of ferrying astronauts to space.
New Rockets Launching 2024

4. Isar Aerospace Spectrum.

Founded in 2018, Isar Aerospace has raised over $330 million – more money than any other European launch startup.
The venture-backed company, which counts Porsche among its investors, is focused on vertical integration and automated production to make Spectrum a competitive rocket. Isar Aerospace plans to launch spectrum from the Andøya Spaceport in Norway.
New Rockets Launching 2024

5. Rocket Lab’s Neutron.

After 43 launches of the small Electron rocket, Rocket Lab aims to fly something closer in size to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 by the end of the year. Neutron is planned as a semi-reusable rocket that will enable the launch company to fly bigger spacecraft and pursue business with megaconstellation operators.
Rocket Lab’s next-generation rocket got a boost last year when the company purchased Virgin Orbit’s old Long Beach, California, factory and repurposed it to build Archimedes engines for Neutron. And while rockets are prone to delays, Rocket Lab has a bigger prize than most if it launches this year: a chance to compete in the U.S. Space Force’s upcoming competition for lucrative military missions .

 

Beyond new rockets, 2024 should also bring returns to flight for Japan’s H3, ABL’s RS1, and SpaceX’s Starship megarocket. It will be a busy year of launches!

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