Apr 16, 2020

Rocket Lab proves it can recover a rocket in mid-air

Posted by in category: space travel

Last year, Rocket Lab announced that it would attempt to reuse the first stage of its Electron rocket. The company’s goal is to catch the stage as it falls back towards the ocean by plucking it out of mid-air with a helicopter. While that’s ambitious, a video released today shows that Rocket Lab may not be too far off. The clip shows one helicopter dropping an Electron test stage and another hooking the stage’s parachute with a grappling hook and towing it back to land.

Rocket Lab pulled off this stunt in early March. One helicopter dropped the Electron test stage over open ocean in New Zealand. A second helicopter caught it, on the first attempt, at around 5,000 feet.

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