Watch this helicopter successfully catch a falling rocket booster

Rocket Lab has successfully used its custom Sikorsky S-92 helicopter to capture a rocket booster replica in mid-air in a test run.

Published Wed, Apr 27 2022 5:04 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, May 19 2022 3:03 AM CDT

Rocket Lab has completed a test run of its next mission by capturing a dummy rocket booster using a helicopter.

Rocket Lab will be using a customized Sikorsky S-92 helicopter to retrieve a falling first-stage rocket booster from the sky in its upcoming "There and Back Again" mission. The mission is scheduled for April 28th if the weather allows, and if successful, it will mark a first-of-its-kind rocket booster retrieval of the company's Electron rocket.

In preparation for the mission, the company has conducted numerous test flights, the latest of which has involved a dummy rocket booster parachuting through the sky as the real thing will, before being collected by the incoming helicopter and its custom grappling hook.

Rocket Lab will be live-streaming the mission and the planned booster retrieval on its website, with the stream beginning about twenty minutes before the Electron rocket launches. If successful, Rocket Lab plans to use the same mid-air capture for its boosters in future missions, taking a markedly different approach to retrieving reusable rocket components compared to SpaceX, which lands its boosters upright on autonomous spaceport drone ships (ASDS).

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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