Rocket Lab 22 - First Helicopter Capture Test [Live: 18.11.21, 01:38 UTC]

in STEMGeeks2 months ago (edited)

This launch took a little longer. First there was a faulty sensor, then there were suboptimal weather conditions for launch and helicopter operations.

This will be the third step to recovering a first stage. The first stage will land under parachut in the ocean, while a helicopter is tracking the decent of the first stage. There will be no in-air capture attempt. The goal is to test operations for an actual capture event.

There is a chance of getting live video of the decent and splash-down.

Mid-Air Recovery Demo

The launch takes place at Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand.

The mission is called Love at first Insight and delivers two earth observation microsatellites (60kg) by BlackSky. The payload is a repeat of the last mission that resulted in a loss of mission because the second stage steering mechnism locked up and couldn't control the vehicle..

Payload mass is 120 kg. Target is low earth orbit (430 km).


Why it's interesting:

  • 22nd launch of the Electron rocket by Rocket Lab
  • The engines are 3D printed
  • Fuel pumps are battery powered.
  • The stages are built out of carbon composite material.

Where to watch:


Check your local time of launch at: www.timeanddate.com


Useful links to stay up to date on launches:

Spaceflightnow.com: Launch Schedule

Everyday Astronaut: Prelaunch Previews

Space News:

NASA Spaceflight nasaspacefight.com


Vote for my witness: @blue-witness

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