The company's Electron rocket lifted off on May 2 from a launch facility on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. Later
The video begins with the helicopter leavingits site, after which the Elektron rocket is launched. The rocket's first stage (the first of two engines) separated shortly after launch, while the second stage continued into space, where it successfully delivered 34 satellites.
The video caught a dizzying view, filmeddirectly from the surface of a launch vehicle rushing towards the Earth at a speed of up to 8,050 km/h. Two parachutes deployed during free fall, slowing the rocket's descent to about 35 km/h.
Now these are views we could get used to. #ThereAndBackAgain pic.twitter.com/yYUtegy52v
— Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) May 11, 2022
The helicopter, using a long rope with a hook, fastened the parachute when the booster was about 1,980 meters above the Earth's surface.
According to Rocket Lab, despitesuccessful capture, the booster was dropped into the ocean after pilots noted "different payload characteristics" than those they had on previous test flights.
The company plans to reuse itsElectron rocket boosters for future launches, similar to how SpaceX is reusing its Falcon 9 rocket. But if SpaceX lands its boosters on landing pads and offshore platforms, Rocket Lab will catch its boosters mid-air with huge helicopters.
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