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Aerospace Company Wants to Try Helicopter Catch Again

They almost had it last time.

Rocket Lab’s attempt to catch a rocket falling from space with a hook on a helicopter proved semi-successful.

The hook grabbed the rocket, but safety concerns forced pilots to intentionally release it into the water moments later. 

Rocket Lab wants to try again, but CNN Business reports it could be months until the second attempt.

The company will try the maneuver again once it completes an upcoming mission to launch a small satellite to the moon. 

CEO Peter Beck called the fix “trivial” and added the company would need to return to the testing phase. 

The focus will turn to making a better replica of the rocket booster in simulations, as the actual capture created an uncomfortable load beyond what pilots experienced in testing. 

Rocket Lab would prefer to avoid dropping the rocket into the ocean as seawater is corrosive and damages electronic components. 

Beck still called the attempt a “massive milestone” as Rocket Lab tries to make its $7.5 million rocket reusable.

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