Can Rocket Lab really catch a rocket with a helicopter?

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  • Josias Cloete
    Josias Cloete  11 minutes back

    stupid question.. but on re-entry the space shuttle has a lot of built up potential energy, that forms the heat, can't that heat energy be used to slow the shuttle down in a way?

    • Guilhem Mollier
      Guilhem Mollier  2 hours back

      20 000 km/h at 250 km of altitude... I'm quite sure sure they could easily turn it into a useless but world-first SSTO.

      • TheAtom
        TheAtom  5 hours back

        I remember reading somewhere that NASA had a similar recovery concept that was briefly studied for the Saturn 5 1st stage. It was later written off because it was to risky to the helicopter attempting the recovery partly because of the size of the 1st stage. A smaller rocket like Rocket Labs electron would be a much safer size to attempt this. We also have better more capable heavy lift helicopters now to.

        • Vitor Enio Dellagiustina dos Santos

          Heterochromia. I just noticed it now.

          • Shadowkey392
            Shadowkey392  9 hours back

            8:27 and people think their Kerbal Space Program creations can be crazier than real life.

            • Shadowkey392
              Shadowkey392  9 hours back

              Can they do it? Sure. Why doesn’t SpaceX? Their rockets are probably too big and heavy.

              • chris ward
                chris ward  11 hours back

                why not 4 ships with a massive net?

                • Eric Bain
                  Eric Bain  11 hours back

                  Tim, I'm a bit skeptical, its just so much heat and the rocket is made of carbon fiber! I hope they can pull it off!

                  • Jeff Antilla
                    Jeff Antilla  16 hours back

                    Thank you.

                    • Steve Mickler
                      Steve Mickler  2 days back

                      Have they looked at using aluminum/air batteries for the first part of the flight? They have much higher power for their weight.

                      • Joseph Dickson
                        Joseph Dickson  2 days back

                        17:50 I heard of a story where at our gliding club, they lost a glider in mangroves and through some amazing connections they found someone with a Chinook helicopter willing to try lift it out. However after lifting the aircraft, it begun swaying erratically and the helicopter pilot had to disconnect it, wrecking the glider even further. :P There was also a resent story of a lady being spun-up by the blades of a rescue helicopter.

                        • jagdish ahire
                          jagdish ahire  2 days back

                          bro can u make video on vehicle trajectory ...in detail

                          • GermanSniper
                            GermanSniper  2 days back

                            Because there are no helicopters on Mars.

                            • norm1124
                              norm1124  2 days back

                              Great Video, thank you.

                              • darthspeaks
                                darthspeaks  2 days back

                                How big are the hands on the rocket to catch the helicopter?

                                • Dn McCabe
                                  Dn McCabe  2 days back

                                  I love this channel and good job on making this video

                                  • Dn McCabe
                                    Dn McCabe  2 days back

                                    Do a video about da dream chaser

                                    • Delia Rasey
                                      Delia Rasey  2 days back

                                      That's right America first baby.

                                      • PurplePandaPower
                                        PurplePandaPower  3 days back

                                        I hope they succeed but we can't ignore the facts
                                        Starship superheavy Electron
                                        cost per launch: 6-7million Cost per launch: .7-6million maybe 900,00 after reusability


                                        Payload: 220,000 reusable Payload: 520lb

                                        • Delia Rasey
                                          Delia Rasey  3 days back

                                          Use miles please

                                          • Everyday Astronaut
                                            Everyday Astronaut   3 days back

                                            The majority of my audience lives outside the US. Most people in the US are at least familiar with the metric system.

                                        • dakota
                                          dakota  3 days back

                                          Are there people on miss tree? You said the boat was atonamis.

                                          • ke6gwf
                                            ke6gwf  2 days back

                                            There is a full crew on board, but when in fairing recovery mode they engage autonomous mode and the ship and the fairing negotiate a shared course and the ship automatically maneuvers along with the parachute to meet up. Then the Captain takes back the wheel.

                                        • The Stoned Raider
                                          The Stoned Raider  3 days back

                                          He assumes we all think this is insane. Please don't assume we are all idiots.

                                          • Everyday Astronaut
                                            Everyday Astronaut   3 days back

                                            I in no way think you are idiots?! I personally do think this is nuts myself, so if you thought my opinion is somehow projecting something about other people’s intelligence, that’s just plain false.

                                        • J. Jason Wentworth
                                          J. Jason Wentworth  3 days back

                                          Two thoughts: One, the USAF routinely recovered its parachute-lowered Firebee jet-powered target drones using a helicopter; the system was called MARS (Mid-Air Retrieval System), and their current Firebee replacement targets may also utilize MARS recovery. Also:


                                          While this is more speculative, the small size (and therefore higher strength and rigidity) of the Electron first stage may--if they're going to do this--make it possible to launch the vehicle from a tube launcher, with a sealing piston entrapping the engines' exhaust in order to "pop" the vehicle into flight. (The Arcas and Super Arcas meteorological and sounding rockets were also tube-launched in this way, and the piston launcher [the rockets sat atop the piston, with plastic foam staves aligning them in the tube] significantly increased their launch velocity without requiring a booster to be added. One or two optional additional gas generator cartridges could also be threaded into the launcher's bottom plenum chamber and fired at ignition, to enable heavier payloads to be carried--or to achieve even higher launch velocities with normal-mass Arcas and Super Arcas payloads.) Most liquid propellant rockets are too large and fragile to survive such high launch accelerations, but the Electron is a quite small, strong, and stiff vehicle, so such tube launches would likely be survivable.

                                          • Lars
                                            Lars  2 days back

                                            So they basically do a cold launch?

                                        • Bill Blackburn
                                          Bill Blackburn  3 days back

                                          Going to be toasty

                                          • Rob Speed
                                            Rob Speed  3 days back

                                            Atlas V 551 does *not* share an upper stage with Vulcan. ULA is building a new version of Centaur for Vulcan which will make it much more like ACES than its predecessor. Not only will it have much larger propellant tanks, it'll have a *minimum* of two engines.

                                            • Rob Speed
                                              Rob Speed  3 days back

                                              ​@Everyday Astronaut From what I understand, Centaur V will essentially be ACES with shorter tanks and no propellant regen capability. After a few launches they'll introduce Centaur V+ which stretches the tanks, and some point later (probably after a few years) add the propellent regen… at which point it'll be ACES.

                                            • Rob Speed
                                              Rob Speed  3 days back

                                              @Everyday Astronaut ULA was originally planning to use Centaur III from Atlas V, but have since decided (I think in 2017) to push a bunch of ACES features forward with a new upper stage called Centaur V. It is very, very different from the stage currently flying on Atlas.

                                            • Everyday Astronaut
                                              Everyday Astronaut   3 days back

                                              ACES won’t fly for a while. It’ll fly Vulcan / centaur for a while

                                          • Jim's videos
                                            Jim's videos  3 days back

                                            11:02 I'll bet you lunch they got two left halves.

                                            • Parker Bartnicki
                                              Parker Bartnicki  3 days back

                                              ATTN TImmy:

                                              I would love to see a comparison of rockets with 0 payload to see how much fuel they could get into space by themselves. Would be some cool information just seeing the boosters getting their leftover fuel into orbit(theoretically of course)

                                              Say just the falcon 5 booster getting itself into orbit without 2nd stage, or with. (That defeats the purpose tho)

                                              Just would set some cool comparisons into perspective

                                              • mr starwars kid
                                                mr starwars kid  4 days back

                                                My answer is their rockets are heavy🤔🤔🤔🤔

                                                • Njål Nilssen
                                                  Njål Nilssen  4 days back

                                                  Seems feasable, but it's going to be toasty :p

                                                  • Mozzo gone Wild
                                                    Mozzo gone Wild  4 days back

                                                    No need Elon’s rockets return home anyway

                                                    • rc more
                                                      rc more  4 days back

                                                      Thumbs up because you are always smiling :)

                                                      • Declan 6914
                                                        Declan 6914  4 days back

                                                        The HIAD (Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator) would be an excellent application for the Vulcan. Even a smaller doughnut configuration on the bottom perimeter of the Electron should be a consideration.

                                                        • Christopher Conkright
                                                          Christopher Conkright  4 days back

                                                          Is there a way to message you for questions etc? I tried on twitter and YouTube but it will not bring you up.

                                                          • Christopher Conkright
                                                            Christopher Conkright  4 days back

                                                            How much of a wing Would a rocket need to glide? This is curiosity on my part. Would they need really long wings? If swept back wings how big? Why don’t they use wings in rockets.

                                                            • Evan Stephens
                                                              Evan Stephens  4 days back

                                                              SpaceX is trying to land boosters to improve their ability to land rockets the same way in the future I’m sure. You can’t catch a falcon heavy with a helicopter.

                                                              • TheFSFLensman
                                                                TheFSFLensman  4 days back

                                                                The Electron is actually small enough to be flown as a MODEL ROCKET using a level 3 high-power APCP rocket motor....What scale are your gridfin 'notacoasters'?

                                                                • L Dewey
                                                                  L Dewey  4 days back

                                                                  Wow. Kudos for an incredibly informative and well done video! Literally packed with fascinating updates! Lots of work and expertise went into this. Thanks!

                                                                  • xFoxy777
                                                                    xFoxy777  4 days back

                                                                    The answer to your question: It depends on how heavy the actual rocket is because you don't want to sink that helicopter into the drink.

                                                                    • Moebius
                                                                      Moebius  4 days back

                                                                      SpaceX skipped that and did better. I'll wait for results before wondering... opinions won't change anything

                                                                      • hsasser3
                                                                        hsasser3  4 days back

                                                                        With composite materials, and the tanks run to empty, the first stage will decelerate in the atmosphere much faster than anything steel, or filled with unburned fuel.

                                                                        • hsasser3
                                                                          hsasser3  20 hours back

                                                                          @ke6gwf Ah. Yes, I see the comparative difference, now.

                                                                        • ke6gwf
                                                                          ke6gwf  2 days back

                                                                          Declaration isn't comparitive to other rocket designs, it is based on surface area vs mass.
                                                                          Yes, it is much lighter, but it is also much smaller, so less surface area and less declaration.
                                                                          Something like Starship will be much heavier, but it will come in presenting its largest surface area, and get better deceleration.

                                                                      • Todd Ablett
                                                                        Todd Ablett  4 days back

                                                                        Five electron catches makes a helicopter pilot an ace right...that must be a rule!

                                                                        And I don't know if you mentioned it here Tim (a previous video?) but the real reason they are trying to recover isn't really cost saving, its time to build the another booster which would mean they are worried about meeting demand for launches. And seeing as SpaceX is also trying to offer "bundles" for smaller payloads, there must be a very substantial demand for the smaller launches

                                                                        • Kevin Nelms
                                                                          Kevin Nelms  4 days back

                                                                          WHUT

                                                                          • Fp Pro
                                                                            Fp Pro  4 days back

                                                                            SpaceX doesn't need to do this. They learned how to landed on the ground.

                                                                            • gk10002000
                                                                              gk10002000  5 days back

                                                                              airborne recovery is not new. One of my bosses when I was in the Air Force was the squadron commander of the satellite catchers based in Hawaii.

                                                                              • kirktierney
                                                                                kirktierney  5 days back

                                                                                Excellent work, Tim. This is easily a companion in quality to your rocket engine review. It's a watch and then re-watch piece for me, and so, "you 'da man!" Err Rocket-man. Err.. Yah.

                                                                                • aBoogivogi
                                                                                  aBoogivogi  5 days back

                                                                                  Yes. The big question is can they re-enter with no brakes. I mean hooking people off the ground has been done successfully via the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system so the actual stress involved on the rocket here is minimal. That said I do doubt their helicopter approach. Most likely a used cargo plane would be cheaper as it removes the need for a ship nearby and is far less susceptible to bad weather.

                                                                                  • Shawn Gayner
                                                                                    Shawn Gayner  5 days back

                                                                                    Hey man, I know the N-1 program was cancelled, but they mothballed the NK-33 closed cycle engine, and they use it now on the Soyuz-2-1v launch vehicle. Some of these mothballed engines were much, much later sold to the US, where they were modified and renamed the AJ26-58. Depending on what bums you out about the N-1 being cancelled, well, some of the cool technology was eventually utilized.

                                                                                    • James Morgan
                                                                                      James Morgan  5 days back

                                                                                      I was wondering.. Falcon Heavy has 2/3 the thrust of a Saturn 5.. and NASA needs more power to launch to the moon with the new capsule.. would mounting 3 Falcon 9 side boosters to a modified Falcon Heavy booster be able to get the package to the moon better than two falcon heavy launches that needs to rendezvous in space?