Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association (ARCA) is a non-governmental organization headquartered in Valcea, Romania, which promotes innovative aerospace projects. ARCA joined the Ansari X PRIZE in 2002 and went on to become one of the leading contenders. Two of ARCA’s most innovative projects are Demonstrator 2B and STABILO. The Demonstrator 2B rocket, equipped with the world's 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.
The organization's main objectives are to win the Google Lunar X Prize Competition and to send in space the first Romanian rocket, able to carry a cosmonaut.
Projects developed at ARCA included: the Demonstrator rockets, the Stabilo manned suborbital vehicle, the Helen unmanned suborbital rocket and the Haas orbital rocket launcher.
Demonstrator 2B rocket, equipped with world's first composite materials reusable monopropellant engine ever to fly, was successfully launched on September 9, 2004 from the Cape Midia Air Force Base on the Black Sea shore.
Stabilo, a two stage manned suborbital air launched vehicle completed three flights until now. The first stage is world's 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, Mission 1 was completed at an altitude of 14700m. In 2007, Mission2 was launched at an altitude of 12000m above the Black Sea.
The Helen suborbital rocket is a technological demonstrator for the Google Lunar X Prize. It is a staged vehicle that uses a gravitational stability method in vertical flight without aerodynamic surfaces or jet commands, by towing the component stages and payload. The towing can be made by cable, or rigid-articulated system. The main flight was canceled two times, in 2009 (Mission 3) and 2010 (Mission 4), because of carrier balloon problems.
On October 1, 2010, ARCA successfully launched Helen 2B rocket, at an altitude of 40 000 m from the Black Sea.
In order to test the avionics of the Helen rocket, ARCA launched Mission 5, at the beginning of 2010, from Sanpetru.
Haas is an innovative air-launched, 3 stages orbital rocket, preliminary designed in 2006 using the technology developed at ARCA during The Ansari X Prize Competition. The rocket was named after Conrad Haas (1509-1579) Austrian-Romanian medieval rocket pioneer, the first creator of multiple stages rockets. The main objective of this rocket is to send to the Moon the European Lunar Explorer vehicle and to win the Google Lunar X Prize Competition
Right now, ARCA is developing IAR-111, a program that aims to create a supersonic high altitude airplane intended to extend ARCA’s HAAS II rocket launch capabilities in the Google Lunar X Prize competition, and for developing space tourism related technologies.