Headlines > News > ARCA to Launch First Romanian Space Vehicle on Friday 13th

ARCA to Launch First Romanian Space Vehicle on Friday 13th

Published by Rob Goldsmith on Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:35 pm via: source
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On Friday, November 13th , ARCA will launch  the Helen rocket,  Romania’s first space vehicle. The launch will take place on the Black Sea shore, with the Navy’s support. The test flight will begin around 10 a.m. Launch procedures will last around three hours. The Helen Rocket will be launched from the world’s largest solar balloon and will use an innovative stabilization system.

The  mission is a highly level degree complexity and it will be transmitted live by Realitatea TV via webcast at www.arcaspace.com.

ARCA Prepare for Flight

ARCA Prepare for Flight

Helen will be using a gravitational stability method in vertical flight without aerodynamic surfaces or jet commands, by towing the component stages and payload. The towing can be made by cable, or rigid-articulated system.

In order to have a stabilized rocket in vertical flight, in gravitational field, this method is using a towed mass in the same direction with the thrust. This mass consists in the next rocket stages and payload. The stability effect depends of several elements: the mass of the stabilized body, the mass of the towed mass and the length between the centers of gravity of the stabilized body and the stabilizer body.

This method can be applied in the extra atmospheric space on vertical ascendant or descendent trajectory under the influence of gravitational field.

The name of this method will be Popescu-Diaconu, after the name of the individuals that designed it. This method will be used for the first time on the Mission 3 flight of the Helen vehicle for the Google Lunar X Prize.

Space Fellowship members can vote on the launch at the “New poll regarding ARCA stabilization method” forum poll.


Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association (ARCA) is a non-governmental organization, that promotes innovative aerospace projects located in Valcea County. ARCA joined the Ansari X Prize Competition in 2002 and since then it became one of the leading teams. ARCA developed two main projects: the Demonstrator rockets and STABILO. Demonstrator 2B rocket, equipped with world first composite materials reusable monopropellant engine ever to fly, was successfully launched on September 9, 2004 from the Cape Midia Air Force Launch Site on the Black Sea shore.

STABILO, a two stages manned suborbital air launched vehicle completed three flights until now. The first stage is world largest Solar Montgolfier balloon and the second stage is a rocket powered manned spaceship. First low altitude flights of Stabilo were completed in 2006. In the same year, Mission1 was completed at an altitude of 14700m. In 2007 Stabilo’s Mission2 was launched at an altitude of 12000m above the Black Sea. The team received flight data via a communication satellite. The landing point was located at 30km (16.2miles) from the launch site. The Navy recovered the vehicle, the recovery ship being guided from ARCA’s Command Center.

Rob Goldsmith
Good Luck!
The launch was postponed for Nov. 14, at 10:00 local time. Live webcast at www.realitatea.net/arca
Thanks for the update bogdan, keep us informed ;)
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