New Zealand rocket caught but then dropped by helicopter
Using a helicopter to catch a falling rocket is such a complex task that Peter Beck likens it to a “supersonic ballet.” Rocket Lab, the company that Beck founded, partially pulled off the feat Tuesday as it pushes to make its small Electron rockets reusable. The California-based company regularly launches 18-meter (59-foot) rockets from the remote Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand to deliver satellites into space.news.yahoo.com
Rocket Lab's next-gen Neutron rocket will be reusable (and have a 'Hungry Hippo' nose cone)
RocketLab's next-generation Neutron rocket promises to take reusability to the next level with a 'hungry hippo' nose cone integrated into a first stage that returns to the launch pad ready to fly again like an aircraft.space.com
There’s more than 1 way to send a spacecraft to Venus
AdIt used to be -- in the U.S.-- NASA was the only way to fund and send a robotic mission to another world, but not anymore. The company wants to send the first robotic mission to Venus in 2023. (Image credit: Rocket Lab) (Rocket Lab)Meanwhile, NASA is considering funding its own missions to the planet considered Earth’s twin. Currently there are two Venus missions under consideration and two more equally fascinating missions, one designed to study Jupiter’s moon Io and another to Neptune’s moon Triton. AdHere’s what launching a robotic mission to another planet looks like, in a nutshell, according to Wagner:“This is what a typical NASA mission is.
Virgin Orbit 'drop tests' a rocket from a 747 aircraft 35,000 feet
It's was part of a pre-planned test carried out by Virgin Orbit, the space startup backed by British entrepreneur Richard Branson. Wednesday's spectacle, during which a Virgin Orbit LauncherOne rocket was intentionally left to freefall back to the ground for a "drop test," was the final step toward reaching that goal. Once the plane reached about 35,000 feet, the typical cruising altitude for commercial aircraft, the rocket was released. Virgin Orbit was spun off from Branson's other space venture, Virgin Galactic, in 2017. In an email Thursday, Virgin Orbit spokesperson Kendall Russell added that the company is "financially comfortable."