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-   -   Want A Job Catching Spacecraft With A Helicopter? (https://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/612060-want-job-catching-spacecraft-helicopter.html)

SASless 11th Aug 2018 07:03

Want A Job Catching Spacecraft With A Helicopter?
Sometimes you just wonder what kind of Cigarettes Rocket Scientists at NASA smoke!

Imagine....there you are in the Crew Room...Tea Cup in Hand....in walks the Chief Pilot.....who says..."Right Lad, off you go on the SS Minnow to do a mid-air catch of a Spacecraft re-entering Earth's Atmosphere!".

Helicopter to catch spacecraft slowed down by inflatable shell in NASA-funded project

spencer17 11th Aug 2018 08:03

Already done ! Not by me.
Not 3.5 tons but mid air catch of a spacecraft dummy.

SASless 11th Aug 2018 13:48

Knowing with certainty exactly where the Space Craft is going to arrive is crucial.....and snatching 6000-7000 pounds will take large aircraft.....Blackhawk size or larger I would think.

You would need more than one....just in case the Recovery Aircraft developed a Snag that delays or prevents its take off.

skadi 11th Aug 2018 14:22

Originally Posted by SASless (Post 10220773)
Knowing with certainty exactly where the Space Craft is going to arrive is crucial.....

That should be no problem in these days...


SASless 11th Aug 2018 14:37

If the Helicopters launch but fail to catch it....and the capsule sinks....or if the parachute fails to deploy.....there is always this back up system.

Which to quote someone....that should not be a problem in these days.:E


wrench1 11th Aug 2018 19:18

Originally Posted by SASless (Post 10220524)
Sometimes you just wonder what kind of Cigarettes Rocket Scientists at NASA smoke!

They've been smoking those same cigarettes since the '60s. I seem to recall PHI snagging a few airborne space items for NASA back then. Catching a complete spacecraft should be interesting.

Lt. Kije 13th Aug 2018 02:12

Yes. Where do I apply?

Nige321 13th Aug 2018 09:43

It's been done before. It wen't horribly wrong, although nothing to do with the helicopter...

John Eacott 13th Aug 2018 10:39


How did they get away with a five metre hook!

Thread drift; swanning around the AFWR in the Caribbean we came across a missile floating around, still attached to its parachute. Crew decision was that it would look like a pretty good trophy to take back to Ark Royal so we dug out the grappling hook and attached it to the winch whilst going into a hover, trawling the hook to catch the prize. No problems so far.

Clear to winch up, no problems. Then the downwash caught the parachute and things went pear shaped very quickly as ten ton of Sea King pulled sideways as fast as possible to avoid being downed by an angry parachute.

‘Get rid of it’ we cried from the front.

‘What, cut the cable’ from the back.

‘Don’t you dare cut the cable’, etc etc until the pull on the grappling hook was enough to straighten the prong and the chute fell off.

Very chastened crew made Charlie time and landed just far enough left of the spot to sneak the damaged hook off down the catwalk for a rabbit job to have it returned to a normal shape, and a lifelong respect for the vagaries of an inflated parachute anywhere near a rotor :eek: :hmm:

ion_berkley 13th Aug 2018 21:14

Oh it goes back muuuuch further than Genesis...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corona_(satellite)

JerryG 14th Aug 2018 10:31

This thread is making my hair curl … but what fun!
I dropped Cassini/Huygens many times, but certainly never tried to catch it!

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