Rocket Lab plans to catch rocket boosters midair with a helicopter

CNET | 8/6/2019 | Jackson Ryan
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The booster will deploy a parachute on its return to Earth, which a helicopter will zip by and pick up.

Rocket Lab, a private New Zealand spaceflight company which offers launch services for small satellites, announced Tuesday it plans to recover and re-fly the first stage of its workhorse rocket "Electron". In a presentation livestreamed to YouTube, Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck revealed plans to capture the Electron's first stage in midair as it floats back to Earth after launch.

Rocket - Lab - Two-stage - Electron - Rocket

Rocket Lab's two-stage Electron rocket is a sleek, black launch vehicle designed to carry small satellites to space. It stands at just 17 meters tall, which is tiny in comparison to SpaceX's 70-meter tall Falcon 9. At present, its first stage booster is expendable which means Rocket Lab is producing a new booster every time it launches.

So far, that's seen seven boosters lift off from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand since 2017, with only its inaugural flight resulting in a failure. The...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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