Haas 2CA Flight Animation & Vehicle Specifications

Video Caption: Introducing the Haas 2CA Single-Stage-to-Orbit rocket. Outfitted with lightweight composite materials and the Executor aerospike engine, the Haas 2CA will be the first rocket in history to place itself into Earth’s orbit as a single stage.

Vehicle length10 m
Vehicle diameter (except fins)0.7 m
Takeoff weight2,240 kg
Dry weight120 kg
Number of stages1
PropellantHydrogen peroxide 70%
Tank pressurizationPressure fed
Chamber temperature250°C
Total thrust at sea level4,100 kgf
Total thrust in vacuum5,700 kgf
Specific impulse at sea level93 s
Specific impulse in vacuum127 s
Running time85 s
Source: ARCA Space Corporation

  • Enrique Moreno
  • Jimmy S. Overly

    So much of this doesn’t make sense. Pressure-fed SSTO with a peroxide/RP-1 aerospike? Running time is 85 seconds? That’s way too short to make orbit.

  • JamesG

    Yeah. Aerospikes are awesome. But they aren’t that awesome.

  • Hemingway

    From 2004 to the present, ARCA MEDIA has produced the following videos related to its Haas 2C rocket. There is hardly any substance to the videos. You do not see any product in production or demonstrated – just poor prototypes. Some of the videos are laughable.

    Stabilo and Helen, engine test, Video 1, 2009



    Helen rocket loaded onboard Navy ship

    2010 ARCA Team Interview | Google Lunar XPRIZE

    New ARCA facility for Haas 2C and Excelsior rocket plane, under construction, 2011

    A new milling machine was purchased by ARCA, 2011

    IAR-111 Excelsior rocket-plane capsule molds casting, 2011

    IAR-111 Excelsior cockpit airframe completion, 2011

    Excelsior rocket plane cockpit, drop test, Mission 6, Video 2, 2011

    Excelsior rocket plane, cockpit airframe, 2011

    Stabilo capsule launch, Mission 1, 2006

    Haas 2C orbital rocket, first public display, 2012

  • Hemingway

    Read the recent comments on this NASASpaceFlight.com Forum – on ARCA

    On ARCA’s lab: “The thing that struck me the most in the video was how empty the electronics lab was. I’ve never seen a room where people were working on electronics that wasn’t filled with all the components and instruments that would fit. But here was a guy sitting at a table working on avionics in a nearly empty room. The cabinets in the background were all full of spacecraft models, not electronic components or instruments or tools. Every piece of equipment related to electronics that was visible fit comfortably on the one table in the room.”

    “Arca has a new video up, talking about ramping up to fly a aerospike on a smaller dev vehicle from New Mexico in 2 months.
    -Video shows them building a nose cone and a dome
    -3:50 show some Iridium electronics modules and some microprocessor boards from Sparkfun.com
    -No engine hardware shown.”

    “OK, this is not funny. On a hunch, I checked some of the following text (of ARCA). Again, it almost exactly matched another publication, but this one is not WIkipedia, it’s an uncredited academic paper. Parts in bold are identical to words in
    Design and Numerical Analysis of Aerospike Nozzleswith Different Plug Shapes to Compare theirPerformance with a Conventional Nozzle, by Mehdi Nazarinia, Arash Naghib-Lahouti, and Elhaum Tolouei”

    These comments should be checked out!

  • duheagle

    I see no mention of RP-1. You can’t burn RP-1 with H2O2 and keep a chamber temp of 250 C. either. It looks as though the thruster elements of this aerospike must decompose the peroxide with a catalyst. That and the 70% H2O2 might keep the chamber temp to the claimed figure. What it won’t do is put anything in orbit. Not with tank a structure strong enough to hold high pressure and that pathetic Isp number. Both Armadillo and Blue Origin fiddled around with peroxide monoprop rockets in their early days. Both moved on to real propellants in due course.

    This thing may fly. It may even reach the Karman line. What it ain’t ever gonna do is put anything in orbit.

  • duheagle

    We may someday find out how awesome aerospikes are, but this thing looks pretty marginal even as a sounding rocket.

  • JamesG

    Si Señor. They do stretch the suspension of disbelief a bit.

    The state-o-the-art in peroxide is spiking it with a percentage of kerosene either premix or injected after decomposition when the exhaust stream is hot and angry. But 70%? LOL…

  • Nickolai

    I agree, I think those numbers must be for a prototype or something. Taking those numbers into the rocket equation gives this thing a delta-V of 3.6 km/s with no payload, and I was lazy and assumed a constant Isp of 127s instead of trying to figure out the altitude average. Need about 10 km/s to make it to orbit.

  • Iain

    The specs listed in this post are for the Demonstrator 3 rocket, NOT the Haas 2CA orbital rocket as the post I believe is intended for. More info here http://www.arcaspace.com/en/Haas_2CA/specs.htm

  • JamesG

    Didn’t even take the back of an envelope to go “an’t no F’ing way…”

    But… if their claim/goal is simply to test the engine and airframe thru to the sub-orbital regime, then I guess you have to give them that. Lord knows, other people are making a lot more puffery out of a lot less these days.

  • duheagle

    I presume the 70% stuff is used because it’s relatively easy to get in industrial quantities. I remember back in Armadillo’s early days Carmack used to bitch a lot about how hard it was to get hi-test peroxide except in trivial quantities. That seems to have changed a bit in the intervening decade or so. 90% seems to be available in quantity, but it may well cost significantly more than the 70% stuff.

  • duheagle

    Well, the Isp numbers for the 2CA on the Arca web page you linked look a lot better than those in the table accompanying this post. Either Doug got the name of the vehicle the table refers to wrong or Arca screwed the pooch in their own PR material. Not a good sign if it’s the latter.

    Looking at some of the other specs, it seems Arca chose the external combustion route so its “chamber” pressure and temp could be kept low in order to keep the tank pressures low so that the tank structure mass could be kept low – typical pressure-fed rockets have tank pressures a lot higher than 300 psi.

    So maybe the thing will actually work. I’ll remain a naturalized Missourian until then.

  • duheagle

    For the low end of LEO, I think you need more like 7.5 km/s. 10 km/s would get you to a fairly high or high eccentricity orbit. The numbers on the Arca web page linked by Iain make it seem the 2CA can manage 7.5 km/s.

    But Arca has a pretty dodgy reputation going way back. If they can make their stated numbers, they can make orbit, it would seem. It’s that first part that bears watching.

  • JamesG

    Its still pretty hard to get and its still relatively expensive. What has changed is that you can set up a membrane apparatus to concentrate to 90%. But its…. slow. very low volume unless you have the money for mass production.
    When you can get HTP it comes in railcar quantities and a ton of hazmat costs and paperwork. Which is fine, if you are launch vehicle operator who needs tons of the stuff on a regular basis. Which is why their claim that they were only using 70% was my biggest red flag. An’t no way they are going to get SSTO out of 70% H2O2, I don’t care how many spiffy buzzwords you sprinkle on your press releases.
    Though I would love to be proven wrong. Please prove me wrong ARCA dudes…

  • redneck

    Orbital velocity is a bit over 7.5 km/s. A launch vehicle needs 9-10 km/s to get there including losses from back pressure, drag, and gravity.

  • duheagle

    Gravity is accounted for in the rocket equation. If what you’re saying is that Earth’s atmosphere imposes additional ascent energy requirements over and above what would be needed to get to 7.5 km/s. in a vacuum, I’d agree. Running with the numbers from the Arca web site yields vacuum delta-V right around 10 km/s.

  • redneck

    It’s possible that we are not talking about the same thing. I use 9 km/sec for BOTE to calculate vehicle requirements. 7.5 km/sec plus a bit is actual ground track orbital velocity when launching east from low latitudes. It takes more vehicle performance to get there because of the losses Are we talking past each other ? We don’t need another flamefest based on a misunderstanding.

  • duheagle

    I don’t think we’re talking past each other. 7.5 km/s is low LEO orbital speed. But, as you note, there are losses for ascent from sea level based on the presence of factors not allowed for in the rocket equation, atmospheric drag being the main one. Thus, one needs more than 7.5 km/s total delta-V, in energy terms, to get anything from Earth sea level to LEO and have it moving fast enough at the end to stay there.

    You say 9 – 10 km/s is required. That sounds about right to me. But given that part of that energy is used to counteract drag on ascent, the vehicle isn’t going at 9 – 10 km/s at any point on its ascent trajectory. If it had launched in a vacuum, it would be going that fast.

    I took numbers from the Arca web page Iain linked and plugged them into a rocket equation calculator. I used 650kg for m1 because I assumed the dry mass of the vehicle given did not include the 100 kg payload. Plugging in the vacuum Isp from Iain’s link, I get a bit over 9.9 km/s delta-V. That’s not achievable rising from the real Earth, of course. But you can get 9 km/s on the calculator by using an Isp of 285.1. That’s 55 sec. more than the sea level figure of 230 and almost 29 sec. less than the stated vacuum Isp of 314. As a rough average of Isp over ascent from sea level to orbit, it’s probably pretty close. To do much better one would need to use more subtle maths that bring in the decrease in atmospheric density with altitude and one would also have to know the ballistic coefficient for the vehicle.

    Bottom line? Once again, I don’t think we’re talking past each other. I think we pretty much agree.

    So the Haas 2CA might well prove able to make orbit, assuming none of the numbers from the Arca web page are seriously off. But, proof of the pudding and all that. I’ll wait and see – and give Arca a big round of applause if the Haas 2CA ever flies and makes orbit.

  • duheagle

    I found a vendor that has 90% peroxide for sale in industrial quantity for purposes including mono- and bi-propellent rocketry. Unfortunately, no price is quoted on the site.

    Elsewhere, I found a source that claims 50% industrial grade peroxide is available for 34.5 cents a pound, plus cost of transport when bought in lots of at least 20 tons.

    The 90% stuff is almost certainly pricier because it is not only more concentrated, but is also quite likely more pure of trace contaminants. I have no basis upon which to speculate just how much pricier it would be, though.

    Just as a reference, it seems LOX is available by the tanker truckload too at 8 to 10 cents a pound.

    Regardless of oxidizer, though, I suspect RP-1 is the dominant item in total propellant cost.

  • JamesG

    Which occurs another thing to my mind, if you are going to flim-flam (or dream-big if we are going to be optimistic), why choose a propellant that no one is going to take seriously, when you can just as easily say you are going to use what all the cool kids are trying, Methalox?

  • redneck

    I plug 9,000 ms divided by average exhaust velocity into the equation to determine mass ratios. 3,000 m/s gives about m/r 20, and 4,500 m/s gives about m/r 7.4. Good enough for BOTE, which is what I do before spending serious time on something. The fun stuff is figuring out what would happen if the Isp was upped with laser boost ala Jordan Kare. Or if an air launched stage hit tethers at different velocities with various propellant combos. More fun than practical, but gives an intuitive feel for some concepts.