Rocket Lab to Attempt Second Vessel Fishing Mission20th May 2021
Currently, the space launch business is led by Elon Musk and SpaceX. Many other companies are scampering to catch up. So far, it’s Rocket Lab under CEO Peter Beck that is hot on the heels of SpaceX.
Top on its agenda is to attempt vessel fishing. The goal is to recapture a spacecraft once it delivers its payload into Low Earth Orbit. It’s the second attempt and a great effort to achieve craft recovery like SpaceX.
Elon Musk’s company has set a record in recycling space crafts. Now Beck is ready to go rocket fishing once more.
Back in November, the company successfully managed a smooth landing of a craft in the Pacific Ocean. Its goal was to create a new way to recover vessels once the satellite delivery is done.
Now, Rocket Lab intends to use a helicopter and parachutes to land the vehicle. The mission is to grab and reuse the craft.
Current Rocket Lab Fishing Goals
While that is the long-term goal, the upcoming recovery attempt is different. It’s a smoother wet recovery before using any other instruments like the helicopter. The purpose is to perfect the process before involving it.
The first attempt wasn’t hassle-free since huge swells hampered efforts to retrieve the craft from the Pacific. The waves caused lots of damage to the booster. But now, the company intends to use an ORCA (Ocean Recovery and Capture Apparatus).
The device is on a ship and consists of a hydraulic cradle. The cradle will help ease the process once the team starts bringing the spent booster onboard. The first recovery attempt did pose some challenges, but Rocket Lab managed to retrieve some parts of the craft.