Space Rocket Lab launches Electron in test of booster recovery


Mi Staff Sergeant
MI.Net Member
Apr 17, 2019
Rocket Lab launches Electron in test of booster recovery

WASHINGTON — Rocket Lab launched its Electron rocket Nov. 19, placing nearly 30 smallsats in orbit while making its first attempt to recover the rocket’s first stage.

The Electron lifted off from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand, at 9:20 p.m. Eastern on a mission called “Return to Sender” by the company. The rocket’s kick stage deployed its payload of 29 smallsats into a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit about an hour after liftoff.

Of greater interest to many, though, in the effort by Rocket Lab to recover the rocket’s first stage. The company announced Nov. 5 it would attempt to reenter the stage, deploy a drogue and main parachute, and then splash the stage down in the Pacific Ocean about 400 kilometers downrange from the launch site.

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the first stage of the Rocket Lab Electron rocket after the first return test. In this test, the stage landed on the water at a speed of 10 m / s. In the future, Rocket Lab plans to use a helicopter to pick up a stage during a parachute descent.
Awesome pic, Morris.
Rocket Lab completed a successful mid-air recovery demo earlier in the year.

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