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The tall and the short of it

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Sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes it’s bad, but size really does matter.

And this week everything just seemed to get bigger.

For starters, in a few short years New Zealand should be able to launch a human being into space.

This is thanks to Rocket Lab’s plans for a much bigger rocket, with the cool name of Neutron.

This bigger rocket will be able to launch a payload of eight tonnes. This is enough to launch people into space along with the various things that they require to stay alive.

At the moment, Rocket Lab’s slender 18-metre rockets carry about 300kg. The newer, fatter 40-metre Neutron will make a more impressive sight if it takes off from its site on Mahia Peninsula, near Gisborne.

The first one will actually lift off from Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in 2024, but Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter Beck says there is no reason why it couldn’t depart from Mahia in the future.

Mahia provides one of the best platforms for launching rockets because of all the ocean in the right direction, and we don’t really have any neighbours to annoy.

The chances of accidentally dropping a rocket on the Chatham Islands is virtually nil. Firing off rockets in the Middle East doesn’t........

© SunLive

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