Chief Executive Peter Beck with the Electron launch vehicle. (Rocket Lab)

Chief Executive Peter Beck with the Electron launch vehicle. (Rocket Lab)

Rocket Lab of Huntington Beach has presented plans to recover and re-fly the first stage of its Electron launch rocket, eventually capturing the vehicle by helicopter in mid-air.

The small-satellite company intends to increase launch frequency by recovering and re-launching Electron’s first stage, it said in a statement today. The plan will eliminate the need to build a new first stage for every mission, and will progress in two phases.

The first phase will see Rocket Lab attempt to recover a full Electron first stage from the ocean downrange of Launch Complex 1 and have it shipped back to Rocket Lab’s Production Complex for refurbishment, the aerospace manufacturer said.

“The second phase will see Electron’s first stage captured mid-air by helicopter, before the stage is transported back to Launch Complex 1 for refurbishment and relaunch,” according to the statement.

Rocket Lab plans to begin first stage recovery attempts in the coming year, according to the statement.