New Zealand firm Rocket Lab has hit a key milestone with the profitable launch and restoration of its flagship Electron rocket. The mission, the agency’s sixteenth to date, included a smooth parachute touchdown of the first-stage booster to the ocean for the primary time.
The mission: Electron was launched round 1:46 a.m. native time this morning from the corporate’s launch web site on the southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island. The mission efficiently deployed 30 satellites into low Earth orbit.
After two minutes in flight (over 26,000 ft within the air), the first-stage booster separated from the second stage, flipped round 180 levels, and deployed a parachute that slowed down its descent and allowed for a smooth touchdown within the Pacific Ocean, after which crews efficiently ventured out to get well it. It’s the first time the corporate has ever tried to get well a rocket booster.