The method of recovering rocket stages using a parachute and helicopter, which was recently successfully tested by the American company Rocket Lab, can be used on Russian rockets. Pavel Pushkin, an independent space expert, former head of the private company CosmoKurs, told socialbites.ca.
“We have our own problems with reusability, how promising is in our circumstances. If we are talking about heavy, that is, state-owned missiles, then there will not be enough carrying capacity. Yes, Angara’s URM (universal rocket unit) can be taken, but if Angara is made usable again at the same time, the payload mass will be severely reduced and there will be no need for such a rocket.
But if we talk about ultralight missiles, then yes, probably, it will be cheaper for someone to take them, due to the high competence of the crew. And it will be cheaper for someone to sit on their feet,” he said.
According to him, earlier Russian engineers were working on the helicopter acquisition of the URM-1 universal missile modules of the Angara missile weighing about ten tons, using a Mi-26 helicopter.
A similar system was tested on Soviet helicopters in the 1970s and 1980s to rescue a military special facility. Many successful collections have been made in the air and high reliability has been demonstrated.
Previously, during a space launch, Rocket Lab used a helicopter for the first time to capture the spent first stage of an Electron rocket.