Separation in space: Undocking of the first stage of the Electron rocket caught on video

Rocket Lab has published a video on social networks obtained during the launch of the Electron rocket on August 23. It was made by a camera installed inside the first stage of the carrier.

The purpose of the mission was to launch the Acadia 1 satellite of Capella Space into orbit. It was notable for the fact that Rocket Lab used the Rutherford engine that had already flown into space for the first time.The power unit was removed from the Electron stage, which was splashed into the ocean in May 2022. Then Rocket Lab tested the possibility of catching rocket components returning from space using a helicopter.

The helicopter pilot actually managed to pick up the stage, but later he still had to drop it into the ocean due to the fact that the load characteristics differed from the data obtained during rocket training. Subsequently, Rocket Lab engineers studied the stage and came to the conclusion that its engines could be reused.

As for the video published by Rocket Lab, it demonstrates the moment of undocking the first stage from the rocket, which then disappears in the distance. Moreover, the camera also managed to record the sound of the activation of the engine of its second stage.

After separation, the first Electron stage entered the atmosphere, released a parachute and successfully splashed into the Pacific Ocean. Then it was picked up by the Rocket Lab ship. It is likely that the engines installed on it, and possibly the entire stage as a whole, will be used in the future in a new mission.

Rocket Lab also published another spectacular video. It shows a cut of 40 launches carried out by the company for the entire time of its activity. Thirty-nine of them were orbital, one was suborbital.

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