July 29, 2021

SPACE: Rocket Lab launches US military satellite on return-to-flight mission. “Electron is currently an expendable launcher, but Rocket Lab wants to change that. The company plans to eventually pluck falling Electron first stages out of the sky with a helicopter, then haul them back to land for reuse in relatively short order. Rocket Lab has been making progress toward this end goal. For example, on both the May 15 mission and a November 2020 flight, the company brought an Electron first stage down for a soft ocean splashdown under parachutes. Engineers and technicians have been analyzing these returned boosters, which company representatives said survived their space missions in good shape.”

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