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ARCA's Haas 2CA Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) rocket uses a linear aerospike engine. The aerospike engine was extensively tested on the ground by NASA and Rocketdyne and it was a strong contender for the Space Shuttle. It was also part of NASA’s VentureStar, a Single Stage to Orbit vehicle. Due to schedule and budget constraints, the Space Shuttle received a classic bell shaped nozzle engine and the VentureStar was canceled before getting to see an actual flight. Hence, the aerospike engine never saw a space flight to this day. In March 2017 however, ARCA Space Corporation brought this technology back into the public’s attention, by introducing the Haas 2CA Single Stage to Orbit rocket, equipped with the Executor Aerospike linear rocket engine.

 

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Ground and vacuum tests are scheduled at ARCA and NASA’s Johnson/WSTF for the Haas 2CA engine. However, ARCA wants to gather more data about how the aerospike technology performs in flight, before the launch of the Haas 2CA, scheduled for 2018 from NASA’s Wallops Test Facility, in Virginia. This is where the Demonstrator 3 rocket comes in, continuing the tradition of ARCA’s previous demonstrator rockets.

Demonstrator 3 will perform a suborbital space flight up to an altitude of 100 km above the New Mexico desert in August 2017.

Soon we are going to know if the hopes and dreams of generations of aerospace engineers, in their pursuit to create what is supposed to be the most efficient rocket engine in the world, will materialize. We hope to confirm that rocket engines that are significantly more fuel efficient than the current engines are achievable. If so, they can lead the way to the creation of Single Stage to Orbit rockets, that are more cost efficient and responsive.

Press Release here.

 

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The Haas 2CA, a Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) rocket, is able to launch 100 kg (220lbs) of payload into low earth orbit at $1million/launch. The rocket has an exceptional mass ratio, and it has one stage that is fueled with hydrogen peroxyde and kerosene. The SSTO configuration is made possible by the use of:

 
- dense propellants;
- advanced fabrication tehniques for the composite propellant tanks;
- the Executor Aerospike, linear rocket engine that promises optimum performance at virtually all flight levels, allowing the use of up to 30% less fuel than any other rocket engine;
- the thrust vectoring control achieved by throttling 8 out of 16 combustion chambers, eliminating the heavy and complex gimbaling system for the engine.

 

ArcaBoard Video

 

The Haas 2CA will operate on the nano/micro satellites market, which is based on a SpaceWork and Eurostat forecast indicating 3,000 satellites between 1- 50kg will require a launch between 2016-2022. The total market value is estimated to be $5.3 billion in the next decade. At $1,000,000/launch, the Haas 2CA perfectly fits into this market seeking economical solutions.

 

ArcaBoard Video

 

Haas 2CA, Timeline & Milestones

 

Preliminary Design Review   - Create the documentation for the Haas 2C vehicle, and associated hardware;
December 2016 - March 2017   - Verification of the design of the selected concept and technical solutions;
    - Definition of external interfaces;
    - Review of design, development, and verification plan.
     
Critical Design Review   - Confirm compatibility with external interfaces;
March 2017 - May 2017   - Release the final design;
    - Release final test planning for Haas 2CA and associated hardware;
    - Release the integration and operations procedures;
    - Authorise manufacturing.
     
Hardware Readiness Review   - Build three Executor Aerospike engines for sea level tests and the test article;
May 2017 - August 2018   - Build the test stand for sea level tests;
    - Build three Executor Aerospike engines for vacuum tests;
    - Build the Exoatmospheric Aerospike Test Vehicle and associated hardware;
    - Build the propellant tanks for ground and flight tests;
    - Build the Ground Control Station;
    - Build the Ground Support Equipment;
    - Procure the Avionics from Ames Research Center;
    - Procure the Flight Termination System from Kennedy Space Center;
    - Review the detailed test procedures;
    - Perform the flight test for the Exoatmospheric Aerospike Test Vehicle;
    - Perform the ground test for the propellant tanks at ARCA;
    - Perform the Executor Aerospike sea level tests at ARCA;
    - Perform the Executor Aerospike vacuum tests at Johnson/WSTF;
    - Confirm that the verification process has demonstrated that the design, meets the requirements;
    - Verify the acceptability of all waivers and deviations.
    - Complete the construction of two Haas 2CA launchers (integration completed);
     
Flight Readiness Review   - Review the detailed flight procedures;
August 2018 - October 2018   - Inspect the flight hardware, confirm the launch personnel and facilty hardware;
    - Perform the Haas 2CA launch at Wallops Flight Facility.
     
Post Flight Review   - Verify that the flight results are in accordance with the success criteria;
October 2018 - November 2018   - Confirm that all test data have been safely recorded;
    - Confirm that the test personnel and hardware can be released.
     
Start of Commercial Operations   - Perform the first commercial launch and start the commercial operations.
December 2018    

 

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