Rocket Lab successfully retrieves its reusable rocket after splashdown

Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket took off from New Zealand. | Image: Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab successfully retrieved the first stage of its Electron rocket during its “Baby Come Back” mission on Monday — but it didn’t catch it with a helicopter this time around. When Electron lifted off from New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula on Monday, its first stage separated about two and a half minutes later and splashed down into the Pacific Ocean, where Rocket Lab’s team recovered the reusable booster.

After separation, the booster began its descent toward Earth at over 9,000kmph (5,592mph), reaching a temperature of 2,400 degrees Celsius (4,352 degrees Fahrenheit) along the way. The rocket deployed its main parachute about eight minutes after liftoff, allowing it to safely splash down into the ocean, where Rocket Lab brought it onto…

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