Falling rocket booster caught in mid-air by helicopter, making history

Following a successful launch in its There and Back Again mission, Rocket Lab has recovered the booster from its Electron rocket.

@AdamHuntTT
Published Tue, May 3 2022 4:22 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, May 24 2022 11:12 AM CDT

Rocket Lab has successfully caught its Electron rocket booster as it fell back to Earth during its latest mission.

A week prior, the company successfully retrieved a dummy booster meant to simulate the real Electron booster in preparation for the upcoming mission. On May 3rd, Rocket Lab recovered its Electron booster with its modified Sikorsky S-92 helicopter during the "There and Back Again" mission.

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket launched 34 satellites for various companies to a sun-synchronous orbit, marking 146 satellites launched by Electron so far. About 15 minutes after launch (52:30 in the company's livestream), Rocket Lab's helicopter caught the rocket's booster in mid-air as it parachuted back to Earth.

However, according to this tweet from Reuters' Joey Roulette, the helicopter pilot opted to release the rocket shortly after catching it, owing to "different load characteristics" than were expected following previous tests. The booster fell into the ocean, where it was then retrieved by a ship.

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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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