New Zealand aerospace startup Rocket Lab caught a falling rocket booster with a helicopter and then they promptly dropped it, which isn’t exactly what we were expecting to see, but it’s still pretty cool and it’s going to make Rocket Lab a part of SpaceX. The latter forms the first company.
Honest effort in fixing their boosters and it’s important to remember here that SpaceX didn’t succeed when they first tried to land a Falcon 9 booster, they didn’t succeed the second or even third time and when a falcon missed the landing Gaya It just explodes spectacularly hence the fact that Rocket Lab has managed to do most of the successful booster recoveries without blowing up anything.
It’s a solid victory that we’re really seeing unfolding right now, it’s the start of a new phase of operations for an aerospace company. There’s a ton of potential. I don’t necessarily want to balk at the idea that they’re the next SpaceX because everything doesn’t need to be an analogy and Rocket Lab isn’t really trying to be anyone other than themselves.
They have a unique vision for what an aerospace company could be of the future and they’re working on some really cool stuff so let’s talk about it. This space race is obviously big hype for rockets. The lab is helicopter catch right now, so here’s how it all carried out the mission titled there and blasted off again on May 2 from the company’s New Zealand launch complex, the Electron rocket carrying a payload of 34 small sets.
It’s important to keep in mind that Electron is a relatively light rocket, the fairing diameter is only 1.2 meters and the payload capacity is about 200 kg so these satellites are so small it’s hard to get a sense of scale when you look at them in space but individual They are roughly the size of a toaster, perhaps the size of a microwave. The first stage rocket boosters work to deliver that payload into Earth’s atmosphere and into space.
Earth has a relatively strong gravity and a denser . For a typical rocket that first stage booster would simply fall back to Earth and usually fall down into the open ocean.
Unless it’s a Russian launch from their cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in which case they slam the booster back into the ground at something remote. In the case of the Baz 9, the booster will hold some of the reserve fuel in an area of grassland or forest and use it to burn the engines as it re-enters the atmosphere.
The rockets are either floated back to the barge or landing pad, then they burn out the time of the final landing so that the engine cuts off when it hits solid ground with its landing legs. n 9 The landing process is very complicated because if the engine cut off is too early the booster will break free and explode.
If the engine burns for too long the booster will bounce off the ground and come back up and explode in Rocket Lab. The Electron booster takes a more traditional route back to Earth with the rocket’s first and second stages about two and a half minutes after liftoff. The detached booster will fall back to Earth at a speed of about 8 300 kilometers per hour.
An additional heat shield is installed. The reusable booster will protect the structure from re-entry temperatures that reach 2400 °C after falling from space and re-entering the atmosphere, at an altitude of six kilometres. Deploys its first parachute 13 km above sea level, the main slope is ejected.
Same idea as those model hobby rockets. If you’ve ever tried one of those, but instead of getting stuck in a tree or power line the electron parachute gets snagged. Edited by a helicopter, there’s about 15 L minutes of launch. After and again slowly came the descending booster.
Looking at Rocket Lab’s sikorsky s92 helicopter with the parachute booster will be falling at a speed of about 35 mph And the electron booster should weigh just under a thousand kilograms after burning through all of its fuel.
So numbers-wise it should be well within the safety margin. Live post from the recovery helicopter shows the helicopter hooking up to the booster parachute successfully and the Mission Control Center full of Rocket Lab employees erupting into a round of applause and cheers. After the mass groaned and the live video was cut completely, it was more than an hour before official word from Rocket Lab.
came back about recovery after a spokeswoman quote us the helicopter pilot noticed different load character than what we experienced in testing at our discretion, the pilot took off the stage for a successful splashdown, so he called it Not exactly what we were expecting, but as someone who has never and never will have caught a spacecraft with a helicopter.
I’m not going to make a decision on that pilot himself, and neither will Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck, who is absolutely excited about the results of his first real-world recovery test, in an interview with CNBC Beck called the launch unprecedented. It was a demonstration yesterday that it all works, Beck told reporters yesterday.
You can successfully control and re-enter a rocket stage from space, put it under a parachute and then recover it with a helicopter in mid-air. Fortunately this special booster can be released by helicopter. Even after it was completely undamaged, the booster parachute was re-deployed and taken down for a soft splash.
Waters was able to quickly eject the booster himself with a boat at Rocket Lab and carry it safely back to shore, Beck says, adding that the company will return the booster to his factory, where it will be shipped. Will be removed, tested and then renewed for a second. Launch When someone on Twitter asked about taking one of the spent rocket engines, Beck replied that they were going back to space.
I think it can still count as a reusable rocket even if the conditions aren’t right so if it becomes relatively easy to parachute the rocket booster and maybe even catch it with a helicopter Why isn’t anyone else doing this, a ton of money is lost by letting the rocket fall into the ocean like Lawn Darts Beck says that the Electron’s booster section is between 70 and 80 percent of the cost of the entire vehicle.
So there are huge savings in reusing it well, the Electron is a specialized rocket with unique characteristics that make it ideal for its operation. For one it is much narrower than your average rocket booster, which That 3.7 m in diameter Falcon 9 or 3.8 m on a ULA is just 1.2 m compared to Atlas 5 and a smaller size besides the electron gets to it.