The New Zealand space company Rocket Lab launched a small rocket on Thursday and then returned it to Earth. The company confirms that Twitter. The launch is an exercise to reuse rockets in the future.
The Electron rocket launched by Rocket Lab on Thursday brought thirty satellites to space. Then the small rocket returned to Earth, where it made a “soft landing” with parachutes in the Pacific Ocean.
A team from Rocket Lab will return the rocket to land, where it will be examined to see if it can be used again. Based on this launch, data is also collected for future missions in which a missile returns to Earth.
This was the company’s 16th launch to date. The first commercial flight took place on November 11, 2018. Last year, director Peter Beck announced that he wanted to reuse rockets.
Rocket Lab does this differently from space company SpaceX, which allows rockets to land vertically on platforms again after launch. The New Zealand company wants to parachute its missiles and catch them with a helicopter during the descent.
The reuse of missiles should significantly reduce the costs of launches. For years, rockets, costing millions each, were written off after launch and aborted on their return to Earth.