The Rocket Lab “Running Out Of Toes” is the first of four dedicated launches this year for BlackSky, a leading provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services. Running Out Of Toes will see Electron deploy two 60kg class Earth-observation satellites to low Earth orbit, where they’ll join three BlackSky satellites previously deployed by Rocket Lab as part of BlackSky’s constellation. The mission furthers BlackSky’s goal to achieve a 16-satellite constellation by early-2022. Spaceflight Inc. arranged the launch and is providing mission management and integration services for BlackSky.
Rocket Lab will, for the first time this year, attempt to bring the launch vehicle back from space as part of its efforts to recover and reuse Electron for future missions.
Electron’s first stage will undertake a series of complex maneuvers designed to enable it to survive the extreme heat and forces of atmospheric re-entry during its descent to the ocean. For this recovery attempt Electron will be equipped with a heat shield to help protect the stage’s nine Rutherford engines and a parachute to slow Electron down before its splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. There, Rocket Lab’s recovery team will be stationed with a new retrieval method to recover Electron from the water: the Ocean Recovery Capture Apparatus, or ORCA, a recovery-optimized strongback for Electron.
Running Out Of Toes is the second of three planned ocean splashdown recovery missions before moving into the final phase of the recovery program – mid-air recovery. Using this approach, Electron stages will be captured
mid-air by a helicopter.
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4:53 Show Starts
17:00 Rocket Lab goes live!
26:40 HOLD HOLD HOLD
1:13:28 Kerbal launch
1:19:29 Rocket Lab second attempt
1:31:13 Terminal count & launch!!
1:34:46 Separation & ANOMALY
1:40:41 Anomaly replays & discussion
2:10:04 Show Ends
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Watch a full flight with beautiful views from launch to the stratosphere and back over Finger Lakes in NY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZwq86wWknk