Space travel is expensive but not sustainable. To make sure there’s still something money left to go back to space, and to make sure there’s something left of our nature, Rocket Lab wants to receive rockets from space. With … a helicopter.
And it’s no joke: Rocket Lab has seriously tested a helicopter from space. Now of course they don’t come at full speed like in the photo above, but they are swinging with a parachute. This gives the helicopter enough time to aim well and catch the giant. It sounds pretty stressful, but if you think about it more, it’s probably one of the few ways to do this as harmlessly as possible.
It sounds crazy, and it looks promising, but unfortunately, although the helicopter was able to successfully capture the booster missile, the experiment ultimately failed. The helicopter shot down the missile anyway. “Putting a rocket out of space and catching it with a helicopter is like a supersonic ballet,” says Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Lab.
“There are so many factors that need alignment and so many systems need to work together flawlessly, so I am very proud of the tremendous efforts of our recovery team and all of our engineers who did the job and our first success. Now we are reviewing it in phase and determining Changes we want to make to the system and procedures for the next helicopter hunt and the possibility of re-flight.”
Obviously, Rocket Lab is too dead avenue They would like to work on it. While the There and Back Again mission didn’t quite materialize as the company had hoped, there is hope in the helicopter and missile story. The rocket was not only launched and assembled for fun, but also ensured that 34 small commercial satellites were sent into space.
Having fulfilled its important task, the missile returned at full speed to Earth, where a Silorsky S-92 helicopter was waiting for it near New Zealand. This type of helicopter was specifically used because it has two engines and this gives more power and speed than a regular helicopter.
So these devices are used in oil drilling platforms and human rescue missions, as well as special missile rescue mission. At an altitude of 13 kilometers, the parachute of reinforcement came out, with another parachute at a height of 6 kilometers, so this giant can be reduced from 8000 kilometers per hour to only 36 kilometers per hour.
This is of course more manageable in terms of speed and this allowed the helicopter to successfully grab the missile by means of a hook. Although the live broadcast showed the missile falling, he remained silent for some time. The helicopter had shot down the missile and landed with a great splash in the ocean, only to be surfacing by a rescue ship. Although the helicopter let the missile slip away, it remains a special sight to see a pilot with a hook catch an object that crashed to the ground minutes earlier. You can say a lot about it, but you need to see it first of all (especially after 52 minutes it becomes interesting):
to the moon
Not only does Rocket Lab engage in strange experiments like these: it also has plans to go to the moon. It was initially supposed to head toward this illuminated field at the end of 2021 with the Capstone mission, but the mission has now been pushed back to this month. It remains to be seen whether it will actually happen, after all, the New Zealand company was first working on a special “fishing trick”.
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