Raises hand from back of room
I'm sure their boffins have thought it all out - but .....
Catching a parachute with a helicopter ?
I'm picturing like when you run over a headphone cable with the Dyson's spinning brush head
Rounding out a successful launch this morning, Rocket Lab has made good on CEO Peter Beck's promise to do pretty much everything bar catching the returning Electron booster in the company's recovery efforts. An awful lot was riding on the mission, which placed a pair of BlackSky satellites into orbit and was dubbed "Love at …
That's one reason they were tracking it so closely. They were monitoring sink & drift rates. They can then calculate loads from that, and figure if they're in the ballpark for being feasible.
I remember the spy satellite film canisters captured by line trailing from a plane. It's just a bigger version.
I don't see it scaling though. There's obvious limits to how big of a thing you can catch.
I think they used something like that in one fo the James Bond Movies. Bond, having (SPOILER ALERT) killed the villain (END SPOILER ALERT) is being 'friendly' with a personage of the female persuasion in a rubber dingy, and lets off a balloon which rises on a cable.
A USAF four engined plane with two 'horns' sticking out of the front comes along and catches the cable, and therefore the dingy, Bond and and the lady.
I cannot imagine how it would be done using a helicopter in flight though. Looking forward to the video.
The Bond film was using the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system (STARS), a real system developed and used (successfully but not often) by the Central Intelligence Agency,
STARS used a cable lifted by a balloon, RocketLab is using the cable between the parachute and the drogue chute.
I'm picturing like when you run over a headphone cable with the Dyson's spinning brush head.
I agree on this. For many reasons this doesn't sound like a good idea. Using a fixed wing big plane like the US did is one thing.... whirling blades overhead just seems like a disaster waiting to happen.
Their primary driver was cadence if I recall Peter Beck's comments on the matter. It's not that a reused first stage is hugely cheaper, but there is a significant saving in terms of time taken to build another one, so they can launch more often.
Don't get me wrong, I am sure that that time saving is also a cost saving, but the primary driver was to get more flights in a year, not just reduction in up front cost.