European Lunar Explorer - ELE is a three stage space probe capable of flying from low Earth orbit to the lunar surface and to transmit images back to Earth. It is the vehicle proposed by ARCA for the Google Lunar X Prize competition. Haas 2 launcher will place ELE on low Earth Orbit.
First stage is used for lunar trajectory injection from Earth orbit. The second stage will be used for lunar approach deceleration, and the third will be ELL - European Lunar Lander, a rover that will land on the Moon's surface and fulfill the conditions of Google Lunar X Prize competition.
ELE first version
First version of ELE probe had hybrid engines, being transported to low Earth orbit by Haas rocket. After starting Executor rocket engine program, ARCA decided to replace hybrid engines with liquid bipropellant. Another modification was the replacement of Haas rocket with Haas 2C. ELL spherical design was not changed.
ELL module avionics was flight tested during Mission 4B, being launched to 40 km altitude by Helen 2 rocket.
For avionics preliminary flight testing before Mission 4, ARCA carried out Mission 5, during which ELL was lifted to an altitude of 5000m by a hot air balloon for verification of command/telemetry parameters by radio/satellite and TV transmission system.
Images with ELE, first version
© ARCA 1998-2013