back to article Rocket Lab to equip 'Return to Sender' with parachutes amid plans to catch an Electron booster with a helicopter

Rocket Lab's next mission has been named "Return to Sender" as the company confirmed plans to arrest the descent of its Electron booster via parachutes. The company has already demonstrated that the first stage can survive what founder and CEO Peter Beck referred to as "the wall" – the maximum heat and pressure experienced by …

  1. kouja

    Fingers crossed!

    Can't wait to hear how it goes...

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Fingers crossed!

      Ditto.

      But I don't want to just hear about it. I want video from the booster and from chase planes so I can see it.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Imhotep Silver badge

    Should Have Built It Right The First Time

    I can't help but think that maybe we should be moving everything in the universe closer together. It seems very inefficient to have to travel such long distances every time you want to go somewhere.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Should Have Built It Right The First Time

      Imagine you get back to the car and find the battery is flat because you left the lights on. The car is on level ground but a minute of pushing will take you to the top of a steep hill. You get to the top of the hill and it is time to jump in, somehow folding a tall body through a small entrance. In that second of thought the car has reached a fast walking pace and getting in will be more difficult. Another second of thought and you are jogging to keep up. It is now or never so you jump, trip and quickly pick yourself up and start running. It is a steep hill so you can sprint really fast but the car is getting a way and you have no hope of catching up.

      The universe used to be small and cramped. Someone pressed the start button and it started to expand until the stop button was just out of reach ...

  4. David Pearce

    Rotors

    So this helicopter has to snag the booster and parachute, which is falling fairly rapidly, while not striking anything with the rotors.

    What could possibly go wrong.

    1. rg287 Silver badge

      Re: Rotors

      So this helicopter has to snag the booster and parachute, which is falling fairly rapidly, while not striking anything with the rotors.

      It's under a parasail. It's moving forwards faster than it is down, and the capture-copter is using a hook on a long wire, so it never gets that close to the booster.

      Video of Recovery Test/Demo in April

  5. DrBobK

    Saturn V catcher

    I just loved reading the page on the Hiller concept 'copter designed (?) to catch a Saturn V Stage 1 in mid-air and fly it hundreds of km/miles home!

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