Our correspondent, Nickolai Belakovski, reports from the DC-X conference in Alamogordo, NM:
Dumitru Popescu announced that ARCA is in talks with Spaceport America to bring their Haas 2b. The vehicle can carry a capsule to 160km, a capsule which can carry 5 people, a pilot and 4 passengers. They expect to be able to start moving to the spaceport in the next few months.
They intend to compete with other suborbital providers on 4 items: safety, the fact that they offer a true rocket experience with vertical as opposed to horizontal takeoff and parachute landing, they go to a (much) higher altitude, and cost.
The pictures of the capsule showed something reminiscent of a mini Dragon in terms of seating layout, with 4 windows spaced 90 degrees apart. The windows seemed sort of low so I don’t know what the viewing experience would be like. It didn’t look like there would be room to float around.
HASS 2B Technical Data
Length: 16 m Diameter: 1.4 m Launch mass: 16 tons Max thrust: 24 tons Max. payload: 2.6 tons Max. altitude: 180 km
Date of first flight: 2016 Situation in March 2012: Program under study
VALCEA, Romania (ARCA PR) — ARCA and the European Space Agency (ESA) signed a $1.1 million contract for the ExoMars, High Altitude Drop Test – Balloon Flight Services Program (HADT-BFS). During the contract, ARCA will contribute to the 2016 ExoMars spacecraft program by testing its parachutes, that will allow it to safely land on Mars.
ARCA PR — The Technical Creation Center for Youth ( inventeaza.ro) – robotics and software center is the new partner of ARCA for the lunar probe project entered in the astronautics competition Google Lunar X Prize. The partnership means working together to develop the European Lunar Explorer probe (ELE), the European Lunar Lander lunar module and the carrier rocket.
The Google Lunar X Prize competition opens a new era of lunar exploration by offering a prize of $ 30 million to the private teams that will manage to land safely on the lunar surface and to place there a robot able to travel 500 m and to transmit video HD images and data to Earth.
ARCA PR — The League of Romanian Students Abroad (LSRS) is the new partner of ARCA, in the Romanian race to conquer space.
LSRS wants to promote the program among the Romanian students and graduates abroad and send the message that as long as the the necessary will exists, the projects that can raise Romania are possible in our country even despite limited resources.
ARCA – one of the Google Lunar X Prize competitors – postponed the first launch of its Helen rocket on Saturday due to problems inflating the launch vehicle:
The cause was determined by very powerful air currents who twisted the balloon, stopping the inflating process. ARCA team with the help of military divers restored the balloon in correct position and the inflating operation was resumed.
This action has had a length over time, in which it was lost the solar radiation intensity required for heating the air inside. We will keep you updated with more news.
ARCA is a team from Romania that is competing in a $25 million competition to launch a rover to the moon. It is launching its first Helen prototype from the Black Sea.
An update from Team ARCA, a Romania group that is competing in the Google Lunar X Prize competition:
November 8, 2009 – CONSTANTA
The Helen rocket launch is rescheduled for November 13-14, 2009, because of unfavorable meteorological conditions. In this period of the year, over the Black Sea, the weather is extremely dynamic and the meteorological predictions are not able to offer sufficient long term precision, as for a stable period of the year.
ARCA is testing the rocket it would use to send a rover to the lunar surface.