Small satellite launch service provider Rocket Lab has revealed plans to bring its Electron rocket booster vehicle back from space.

In the next mission, the company will attempt to recover the rocket as it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere. It will reduce its speed exceeding Mach 8 and then splash it into the ocean.

Rocket Lab is planning to launch its next mission dubbed as the ‘Running Out of Toes’, from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand next month.

This mission will be the company’s 20th Electron launch in total and the second of three planned ocean splashdown recovery missions.

The ‘Running Out of Toes’ mission, will validate the company’s findings from the first recovery mission and will test updated systems including the new advanced heat shield.

If successful, Rocket Lab will proceed with the final phase of the recovery programme mid-air recovery, where Electron stages will be captured mid-air by a helicopter.

Last November, the company launched the first recovery mission named ‘Return to Sender’, becoming only the second company to successfully recover an orbital class booster from space.

Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck said: “Reusability is hard for any launch vehicle, but it’s a particularly complex challenge for small rockets. The Return to Sender mission proved we could successfully bring Electron back from space.

“Now it’s about validating re-entry data a second time and starting to introduce the advanced systems that will enable us to launch, catch and repeat.

“Electron is already the second most frequently launched US rocket. Reusability will enable us to further increase launch cadence giving our customers on-demand access to space.”

Last month, Rocket Lab’s Electron successfully deployed six spacecraft to orbit as part of its 19th Electron mission.