Rocket Lab will reuse its rockets by catching them with a helicopter
The motivation is quite clear: this should lead to more launches and lower costs. Instead of having to build rockets from scratch for every launch, Rocket Lab could reuse vessels and have a turnaround time measured in days instead of weeks. It might not have to produce as many rockets in the first place, for that matter. As company chief Peter Beck told CNBC, even a single reuse for each rocket would double the effective production rate.
You may have to wait a while to see a real recovery. Rocket Lab has started including instrumentation on its missions to “inform future recovery efforts,” but you won’t see major changes to the Electron until three launches from now — and that doesn’t mean it’ll attempt a recovery. It’s only promising a bid sometime in the “coming year.” Should this prove successful, though, reusable rockets may become downright commonplace.