"Rocket Labs' plans will see the returning booster eventually equipped with a parachute and snatched by helicopter."
Seems unusually dangerous for a planned recovery.
Small-sat flinger Rocket Lab beat the winds to get the mysterious National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) payload off the New Zealand launchpad this morning. After multiple holds due to ground winds, the Electron lifted off at 02:56 UTC on 31 January from the company's Launch Complex 1 on the New Zealand Mahia Peninsula. Dubbed …
Fortunately NZ is equipped with some very good chopper pilots, experienced at hovering in tricky alpine environments to effect rescue, pluck injured crew off fishing boats in the roaring 40s and other less routine and more tricky things. Not sure if ex All Black Captain Fantastic Richie McCaw is in that class yet but his post rugby job is a chopper pilot.
NZ is in process of clearing possums, rats, mice, mustelids and rats from our native bush and everywhere else which includes dropping poison pellets over inaccessible bush or dropping trapping teams into otherwise inaccessible rugged bush clad terrain. The scientists worked out it could be done, we have long practice at offshore islands and now onshore land arks with predator proof fences. We have new automatic baited traps, predator puts their head in to get bait and is decapitated. Trap then resets itself multiple times before the battery needs changing. We are not pissing about over this.
Meanwhile the mainland of the UK continues to tolerate mink, grey squirrels, sundry exotic deer species etc. etc while stupidly culling vaccinated badgers, the largest land predator left. Here in Scotland we have at least rescued otters from endangerment and reintroduced beavers. Here in Dundee we are trying, we are the front line between grey and red squirrels. Greys in city gardens and parks and reds in a forest on the NW edge. Folk will come and trap and dispose of greys. It's something. But needs much, much more and govt funding.
Anything the Yanks can do we can do better. In regular naval competitions the NZ air force wins the sub detection section with the Yanks, Cannucks and scorched Aussies. Our naval patch is HUGE, look it up sometime. Expanded by the Kermadecs to the NE half way to Tonga, the Chathams way out East of Christchurch and all those sub Antarctic islands. Not to mention our still extant but shelved claim to a segment of Antarctica.
Also the three main islands have an area slightly bigger than the entire British Isles with snow capped alps (two sets of), lakes and lots of volcanoes.
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Fortunately NZ is equipped with some very good chopper pilots, experienced at hovering in tricky alpine environments to effect rescue, pluck injured crew off fishing boats in the roaring 40s and other less routine and more tricky things."
For the benefit of those who aren't aware of the history of aviation in NZ, the term 'more tricky things' included chasing deer over the hilltop scrub at low level, firing a net in their general direction from a modified shotgun, following which the net operator jumped off the still moving chopper onto the deer, wrestled it to the ground and prepared it to be airlifted out to a farm. Most of this activity took place in terrain where the chopper couldn't land, so the only way out for both deer and net operator was at the end of a rope.
I have, somewhere at home, a video of a mate, now sadly deceased (of natural causes), piloting helicopters in the deer capture industry.
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... Beck described the aerodynamic forces involved as akin to "perching three elephants atop the Electron stack" ...
Would those be African or Indian elephants? Either way I would like to see this claim tested:
"OK, are we all ready? ... Right - Dumbo you're first".
"Good boy, steady now ... You're next Nellie"
[Creak] "Er ... slowly does it, girl ... OK - and finally Jumbo"
[Creak] "Gently now"
[CREAK] "Looks like it's working"
[CRACK] "Oops" [Trumpeting] ... [THUD] [THUD] [THUD]
"[sigh] You'd better call the vet again, Ethel."
" ... and tell Beck we need more struts."
But how the elephants get up there in the absence of an infinite improbability drive?
Amazon prime <click> ...
elephantidae <click> ...
African <click> ...
Deliver to: new address <click> ...
New Zealand <click>
two hundred thousand feet<click>
If nobody answers leave on firey burny thing <click>
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