Helicopter catches space rocket booster

The American-New Zealand company Rocket Lab has taken a big step forward in its quest to reuse its launch vehicles – by catching one – as it fell back to Earth.

A helicopter grabbed the booster mid-air as it parachuted back towards the Pacific Ocean.

ANU Astrophysicist and Cosmologist Dr Brad Tucker says “it is a really cool achievement”.

“The whole goal here is to try and capture, or reuse, that rocket booster,” he told Sky News Australia.

He said a parachute was deployed with a helicopter latching onto it to bring the rocket back.

“They weren’t fully happy with how accurate or how good they grabbed onto it so they did release it, but essentially this is their first time doing it and they pretty much nailed it.

“So a very interesting way of making rockets reusable for fairly straightforward kind of technique.”

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