4 votes

RocketLab successfully recovers Electron rocket first-stage test article in Mid-Air Recovery demo via helicopter

3 comments

  1. [2]
    drannex
    Link
    Will be interesting to see if this works at a high enough efficiency rate from a live mission release and capture. I have my doubts, but hoping to be proved wrong. Seems dangerous for the...

    Will be interesting to see if this works at a high enough efficiency rate from a live mission release and capture.

    I have my doubts, but hoping to be proved wrong. Seems dangerous for the rotorcraft to be navigating under/around the first-stage on descent.

    1 vote
    1. emdash
      Link Parent
      Hopefully the helicopter is always above the first stage! Based on the design of the canopy that RocketLab is using for their first-stage—which looks close to a parachutist's ram-air...

      Hopefully the helicopter is always above the first stage! Based on the design of the canopy that RocketLab is using for their first-stage—which looks close to a parachutist's ram-air aerofoil—which are usually trimmed for around ~30km/h air speed, in calm conditions this will be really steady with a manageable descent rate. They're beefy and designed to deploy from high speeds, and once they're open it's quite a stable configuration.

      I'm sure they'll be adding GO/NO-GO conditions to their launch criteria that consider the weather downrange at the recovery site too.

      2 votes