Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association (ARCA) is a non-governmental organization, that promotes innovative aerospace projects located in Vîlcea County. ARCA joined the Ansari X Prize Competition in 2002 and since then it became one of the leading teams.
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 from the launch site. The Navy recovered the vehicle, the recovery ship being guided from ARCA’s Command Center.
Haas is a rocket launcher able to place 400 kg of payload in Low Earth Orbit. The first flight of this launcher (European Lunar Explorer - ELE as payload) is for the Google Lunar X Prize Competition.
The solar balloons, build at ARCA, are used as the first stage for the Stabilo and Haas rocket vehicles. The rockets are lifted into the stratosphere, a place where the atmosphere is thinner than on the ground.
Orizont is a suborbital manned space plane build for the Ansari X Prize Competition. Unfortunately, the airframe was completed only after the end of this competition. The project is now on hold at ARCA.
The European Lunar Explorer (ELE) is a automated spacecraft build by ARCA for the Google Lunar X Prize Competition. It will be placed into Low Earth Orbit with the help of Haas rocket launcher.
(From and more on ARCA)
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