The Association of Romanian Cosmonautics and Aeronautics (ARCA)
has launched successfully on Oct. 1, within the Google Lunar X Prize
competition, the Helen 2 rocket, the first Romanian rocket ever launched
The launch, fourth attempt successful, took place off the Black Sea
coast, from the military ship NSSL 281 Constanta, accompanied by
Fulgerul and Bombard fast boats. ARCA President Dumitru Popescu
announced on Monday, in a press conference, that the launch took place
by using a carrier balloon above the Black Sea, 20 kilometers from the
coast. The balloon ascent took 40 minutes, to an altitude of 14,000
meters, when the its top speed reached 120 kilometers per hour.
At this altitude, the rocket was commanded to start the engine for
30 seconds, placing the it at an altitude of about 40,000 meters. That
was followed by the re-entry into atmosphere of the launch elements,
but the rocket capsule was not identified.
The successful launch of the first Romanian spatial rocket Helen 2 was
carried out by the Association of Romanian Cosmonautics and Aviation in
partnership with the Control Center belonging to ROMATSA (the
Administration of the Romanian Air Traffic Services) from Bucharest and
“We are the first team succeeding to launch a rocket during this
competition. The contest was entered by several countries, with over 20
teams, mostly from the U.S.. We succeeded this performance for
Romania’s road to Cosmos, a first flight within the Google Lunar X
Prize competition aimed at the sending of a robot to the Moon surface
by a private company. ARCA becomes as such one of the favorites to win
the prize of 30 million dollars”, said Dumitru Popescu.
After Helen 2 rocket launch first images from space were received.
The competition was launched in 2008 and ends officially in December
2012, but there are chances it should be extended until 2013. “Helen 2
rocket was successfully launched, and its first part came off as normal
and entered the atmosphere. Although we have not managed to retrieve
the rocket capsule, we have managed to capture live images that confirm
a successful launch”, Dumitru Popescu told.
Operations costs were supported by ARCA with the aid of its partners.
ARCA further prepares the launch of another larger rocket – HAAS – next
year, likely above the Atlantic Ocean.http://www.universetoday.com/74983/moon-balloon-has-mostly-successful-test-flight/
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