ARCA progress

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LKD

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After the post about the balloon accident, I followed the link to Romania's ARCA balloon launch project. Really interesting.

Is there any information about this project, what it has managed so far, and what the likelihood of their success is?

Thanks kindly.
 
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EarthlingX

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spacefellowship.com : ARCA will launch Helen 2 space rocket from the Black Sea, between August 3 – 5
Published by Klaus Schmidt
on Tue Aug 3, 2010 7:50 am
via: ARCA

Launching Helen 2 rocket, ARCA wants to achieve two objectives:
- launching the first Romanian space rocket in a suborbital flight
- achieving the first flight in Google Lunar X Prize

Helen 2 system overview
Helen 2 is a suborbital system consisting of a helium balloon with 0 pressure, that lifts a two stage rocket vehicle and payload European Lunar Lander (ELL). The payload is a pressurized capsule that carries avionics, such as accelerometers, cameras, satellite tracking systems, GPS, sensors, telemetry equipment, etc.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJKk9het6vI[/youtube]
 
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EarthlingX

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http://www.googlelunarxprize.org : Flight Command and Control Center
Mon, 09/13/2010 - 14:12 — Bogdan

Mission 4B flight will be coordinated from a command and control center made by ARCA. This is made of seven stations:

1. General activity monitoring station

2. Setellite flight data receiving station

3. Telemetry radio flight datareceiving station

4. Manual flight monitoring station.

5. ELL TV transmission receiving station.

6. Balloon capsule TV transmission receiving station - radion and sattelite communications and flight command.

7. Flight assembly TV receiving station - radio communication and flight command.

Control center image.

http://www.googlelunarxprize.org : SC CALOR supports ARCA
Mon, 09/13/2010 - 14:16 — Bogdan

SC CALOR and ARCA have signed a partnership for Mission 4 - launch of Helen 2 rocket. Through this parnership SC CALOR financially supports ARCA and helps with hydraulic and penumatic components.
 
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EarthlingX

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buuFieP6lVo[/youtube]
dragosmur | September 15, 2010

Dumitru Popescu describes the seven stations of the command panel that will be used during Mission 4B.
 
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EarthlingX

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http://www.universetoday.com : Moon Balloon Has Mostly Successful Test Flight
Oct 5th, 2010

by Nancy Atkinson


ARCA successfully launches the first Romanian space rocket, via balloon. Credit: ARCA

A Romanian team aiming to send a rocket to the Moon via balloon successfully launched a test flight of their Helen 2 rocket, sending the first Romanian-made rocket system to 40,000 meters above the Earth. The Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association (ARCA) team is vying for the Google Lunar X PRIZE, and tested the balloon/rocket system (sometimes called a ‘rockoon’) which launched from a Romanian naval frigate from the Black Sea. While the balloon and rocket worked great, the parachute and recovery system failed. But the team met their main objectives and were ecstatic.
..

A Romanian naval officer celebrates with a member of the ARCA team after the rocket fired successfully. Credit: ARCA
...
The balloon ascent took 40 minutes, bringing the system to an altitude of 14,000 m, at times raising the system at 120 km/h. When it reached that altitude, the flight controllers on the naval ship lit the rocket engines for 30 seconds, bringing it to 40,000 meters. From flight data transmitted to the control centers of ARCA and the Romanian civil aviation authority (ROMATSA) the team was able to confirm the successful flight trajectory, which had an error of only 800 m from the center of their safe trajectory.
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But at the capsule’s reentry, the parachute did not open, and a ship sent to try and find the capsule in the water was not able to find and retrieve it. But the ARCA team said they didn’t look for it for very long, since most data were transmitted by radio telemetry and satellite and recovery isn’t an objective of the Google Lunar X Prize Competition.

However, they were able to complete the successful launch of the first Romanian space rocket, as well as their first flight of the Google Lunar X Prize Competition. They also verified their rocket stabilization system, and reached the highest altitude ever by an object designed and built entirely in Romania.
...
 
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