Bringing a Rocket Back from Space: Rocket Lab to Recover Electron Booster on Next Mission

Published Apr 08 2021 at 6:27 PM GMT
  • Rocket Lab will attempt to bring an intact rocket back from space in another major step toward making Electron the first reusable orbital small launch vehicle Rocket Lab, the leading launch and space systems company, today announced that on its next mission the company will attempt to bring a rocket back from space, slowing the Electron launch vehicle down from speeds of Mach 8 as it re-enters Earth's atmosphere before splashing the rocket down in the ocean.
  • The complex mission is the next major step toward making Electron the first orbital-class reusable small launch vehicle, enabling rapid-turnaround launches for small satellites.
  • Scheduled for launch in May 2021 from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, the "Running Out of Toes' mission will be Rocket Lab's 20th Electron launch overall and the second of three planned ocean splashdown recovery missions.
  • The mission will see Electron deploy two Earth-observation satellites for BlackSky's global monitoring constellation.
  • While Electron's second stage delivers the satellites to orbit, Electron's first stage will undertake a series of complex maneuvers designed to enable the stage to survive the extreme heat and forces of atmospheric re-entry on the way back to Earth.


  • Published Apr 8, 2021 6:27 PM GMT