Rocket Lab Catches Falling Rocket With HelicopterIf you haven't heard‚ Rocket Lab's Electron booster stage has been falling back through Earth's atmosphere. They hope to catch it and salvage some or all of it. A helicopter has successfully caught a falling rocket. It's unclear whether the booster will survive the crash‚ or if it will even be salvaged. The team plans to send a livestream of the event and has a camera set up on the capture line.
Rocket Lab's Electron booster stage fell back through Earth's atmosphereA helicopter has caught a rocket in mid-flight in a video that shows the California-based company catching the dummy rocket with a line. The team that made the catch describes it as hard. After hooking up‚ the recovery team released the rocket‚ and it splashed down safely. Now‚ the rocket is being loaded onto the ship. The catch will hopefully pave the way for future missions. The Electron rocket was launched by the company on May 29. The rocket's first stage deployed two parachutes‚ which were used to slow the vehicle's descent to Earth. The helicopter‚ meanwhile‚ tried to catch the parachute line. The helicopter pilot observed that the rocket was falling at a different rate than it usually does. A helicopter pilot had to make sure that the rocket didn't splash down in saltwater. The Electron booster fell back through the atmosphere after deploying its parachute. The rocket was descending at 35km per hour when the helicopter came in and attached a cable to the booster's parachute line. The helicopter successfully captured the booster‚ triggering a cheer from the ground controllers. The rocket's release was attributed to the varying load characteristics of the booster and the helicopter. Nevertheless‚ the capture is an impressive feat and demonstrates the potential of reusable rockets. During the launch‚ the company managed to grab the booster before it crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The pilot and crew managed to catch the rocket before it hit the ocean. The mission was a success‚ and the video shows that the team can achieve this feat again in the future. They now have a new way to launch satellites to space. It's a great moment for New Zealand and all of its citizens. So‚ keep an eye out for more updates from Rocket Lab. Attempting to capture a rocket in mid-flight with a helicopter is not a new idea. In fact‚ it has been attempted before: NASA's Genesis spacecraft managed to catch a rocket in mid-air and land it safely on the launch pad. This could make the process cheaper. But if it is successful‚ this new technique can save millions of dollars in the long run. So‚ why wait for the next big thing to hit the space market? While the launch process is a complex one‚ it is certainly an exciting moment for the company. Beck‚ the founder of Rocket Lab‚ called the demonstration a success. Beck noted that the rocket load issue was a small flaw and that the project team would investigate and fix it. In addition to the test‚ Beck said that he hopes that making rockets reusable will cut costs and enable the company to launch more often.
Rocket Lab's helicopter caught falling rocketA New Zealand-based company called Rocket Lab successfully captured a falling rocket booster mid-air. During Tuesday's mission‚ a rocket called the Electron delivered 34 satellites into orbit. Its second stage was a successful splashdown‚ allowing the rocket's crew to recover the captured booster. The helicopter crew used a long rope to hook the parachutes of the rocket booster‚ slowing its fall to a safe landing in the Pacific Ocean. A crew aboard a Sikorsky S-92 helicopter tried to catch the booster at 2‚000 meters by deploying a long cable and hooking onto its parachute line. The launch was live-streamed to allow people to see what was happening. As soon as the helicopter caught the rocket‚ people at mission control began cheering. However‚ a collective sigh was heard when the helicopter jettisoned it again 20 seconds later. The crew's successful capture was noted by the team at Rocket Lab‚ which credited their success to different load characteristics. The company's engineers are now working to develop a more reliable and reusable rocket‚ and this latest attempt could help in the future. SpaceX is one company that has been developing reusable rockets. Its Falcon 9 has an engine that can perform a vertical landing and a flip manoeuvre. Ultimately‚ this means that the rocket can fly back into space and be used again. And this is what the US company hopes to achieve. While the crew's actions were unprecedented‚ the demonstration was a success for the company‚ despite the harrowing incident. The rocket's load issue is a minor issue‚ and the project team will continue to investigate it. But‚ for now‚ the company says that making rockets reusable will reduce the risks associated with launch‚ which can cost billions of dollars. The crew's decision to drop the rocket was based on the safety of the team. The mission has been delayed several times because of poor weather and other factors. However‚ the company plans to launch its Electron rocket again in 2020‚ and hopes to land it safely back on the launch pad. This is the first time a helicopter has successfully caught a rocket booster in mid-flight. But the company will need to refine its methods to avoid such mishaps in the future. It has been reported that rocket boosters landed on the sea before and were recovered. Two pilots of a Sikorsky S-92 helicopter steered the helicopter over the booster. The helicopter had vertical cable to help it navigate and catch the rocket. The helicopter was flying high above the South Pacific when it spotted the falling rocket. The pilots of the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter were conducting a debriefing and reviewing the data‚ but could not be reached for interviews. So‚ it's too early to tell how it happened‚ but the team's success is a remarkable achievement.
Rocket Lab hopes to salvage some or all of the boosterIn an attempt to save some of the spent boosters‚ Rocket Lab plans to catch them midair using a chopper. The Sikorsky S-92 helicopter is a twin-engine‚ large aircraft normally used for offshore oil and gas transportation and search and rescue missions. The company plans to fly the captured booster to a production complex or at-sea recovery vessel. Since the booster was jettisoned into the ocean‚ the technique isn't the most ideal‚ and the sea water would corrode the booster. After the Electron rocket fell into the Pacific Ocean‚ Rocket Lab planned to capture the booster with a chopper and re-launch it. While the Electron booster was in an excellent condition‚ the recovery helicopter had to be deployed because it was so heavy. It was captured briefly by the helicopter's pilot‚ who noticed that the load was different from the Electron. While the Electron booster is still in good shape‚ the astronauts will have to wait a few months before it is fully recovered. In the meantime‚ Rocket Lab is concentrating on improving its reusable rocket technology to reduce costs and increase the number of launches. While the company has had several failures‚ the newest demonstration will be a huge success. Peter Beck‚ Rocket Lab's CEO‚ said the rocket load issue was a minor problem and the team is working on a solution. In the meantime‚ it will be able to launch its next boosters with more confidence. It is also cheaper‚ which should encourage other companies to try this method. After the first test‚ the crew of a Sikorsky helicopter attempted to catch the booster at 2‚000 meters. They used a long cable to grasp the booster's parachute line. When the helicopter reached the booster‚ the ground controllers cheered and were disappointed when the pilot let go of it. While the test was conducted before the second‚ the dummy rocket stage drifted under the parachute‚ and a secondary capture line was stretched out to the side of the booster. A hook line hung vertically‚ and the team worked to get the booster back to the ground. A helicopter will catch the fallen booster. It will detach from the Electron rocket and descend to Earth under the guidance of a series of parachutes. After it reaches the ground‚ a Lockheed Martin Sikorsky S-92 helicopter will fly by and catch it. It will then return it to Rocket Lab for analysis. If the team manages to do this‚ they will be able to use the recovered booster as a test bed for future rocket launches. The catch is described as difficult but successful. After hooking up‚ the rocket was released and splashed safely down. The ship is now loading the rocket. A special-purpose helicopter will follow the floating booster and grab the handle. The handle should float above the booster. Rocket Lab hopes to salvage some or all of the recovered booster. And if the recovery operation is successful‚ it will save more than one rocket.
Helicopter catch! Stay tuned for more recovery details and payload deployment in around 50 minutes. — Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) May 2, 2022