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News Archive, 2021 - 2023

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December 25, 2023 - A1, ballistic and hypersonic missile strategic interceptor

 

ARCA Space and General Astronautics started the fabrication of A1, a ballistic and hypersonic missiles strategic interceptor.

A1 is designed to defend military infrastructures like command centres, logistical hubs, naval, air and ground forces bases, as well as civilian assets like industrial and energy facilities, civil engineering constructions and urban areas. 

The A1’s warhead weights 10 tons and it contains between 200.000 to 2.000.000 projectiles alongside infrared and radar decoys, depending of the type of target that needs to be intercepted.

The A1 interceptor fills the gap in the anti-missile systems offer due to its ability to engage at low altitudes, nuclear and conventional Multiple Independently-targetable Reentry Vehicles (MIRV) and Reentry Vehicles (RV) deployed by ICBM, SLBM, IRBM, MRBM.

The A1 interceptor is also designed to intercept SRBM/TBM, as well as hypersonic and supersonic guided missiles, working in conjunction with currently deployed anti-ballistic interceptors.

The A1 follows our policy in regard to the development of exclusively non-lethal, non-offensive weapons.

More details soon.

December 21, 2023 - The MIRTV, hypersonic RTV and booster presented at the COSMOBASE 

 

The anti-ballistic training against nuclear strikes was made easier with the release of MIRTV and hypersonic RTV from ARCA.

The three-unit MIRTV is designed to actively-simulate the terminal flight of a nuclear or conventional MIRV launched by ballistic missiles.

The MIRTV is launched by the CER-1200MIRTV rocket and it has a launch weight of 1,000kg, including the booster, which accelerates the MIRTV during descend to speeds up to Mach 4.4.

The booster is also able to deliver just one hypersonic Reentry Vehicle (RV) with a reentry speed of Mach 6.6.

These vehicles are designed as targets for the training of antiballistic forces.

Currently ARCA and General Astronautics are going through the certification phase for the MIRTV and the hypersonic RTV with two European military forces.

More photos.

More about MIRTV on www.ecorocket.space

November 9, 2023 - EcoRocket Nano / CER-160TR Artillery Target Rocket Test

 

ARCA and General Astronautics executed a test with the CER-160TR (160mm caliber), canister-based artillery target rocket, currently under military homologation for two European military forces.

Mission 11 test took place on November 9, 2023 from the COSMOBASE with the objective to validate the launch procedure and the launch sequence involving the canister and the actual vehicle. The vehicle was fuelled wit 8% from its total propellant tank capacity and the engine was throttled-down to keep the same thrust to weight ratio as in the case of a fully fuelled rocket, in order to only perform the canister exit sequence.

Read more about Mission 11.

More photos.

October 4, 2023 - Asteroid Mining Capsule and Reentry Target Vehicle Drop Tests

 

During Mission 12, the asteroid mining test capsule was subject to a drop test to confirm the validity of the no-parachutes crash landing design for the AMi Exploration Program. Aerodynamic and stability data were also collected by the onboard sensors. Read more about Mission 12.

The Reentry Target Vehicle (RTV) was drop tested during Mission 16. This vehicle serves as target which simulates the terminal flight of nuclear warheads, for the training of antiballistic forces. Read more about Mission 16.

More photos.

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August 17, 2023 - ARCA Made Available the EcoRocket Technology for Civilian and Military Applications

 

ARCA and General Astronautics are announcing the release of a new generation of ecological, extremely cost effective commercial rockets, with both civilian and military applications, based on the EcoRocket orbital vehicle technology. ecorocket.space

The Commercial EcoRocket series is comprised of ERC160 (more photos of CER160), ERC500 and ERC1200 vehicles with civilian applications including science, research, boosters and first stages for space launch vehicles, recreation, and non-offensive military applications like target rockets simulating Short Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM), Reentry Vehicles (RV) and Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRV). 

More photos of Reentry Target Vehicle (RTV).

Our policy is to never support the creation of military offensive assets. Therefore the newly released products exhibit no guidance systems and non-responsive launch sequence, rendering them unusable for offensive applications. Read more about this news.

July 1, 2023 - EcoRocket Heavy First Modules Presentation

 

The first Propulsion Modules for the EcoRocket Heavy, forming together a launch vehicle in itself, were presented at the COSMOBASE, on July 1st, 2023. All five Propulsion Modules are operational. More about the first EcoRocket Heavy Propulsion Modules.

On top of the rocket was presented the AMi Cargo spacecraft model at 1:6 scale with an updated design featuring a large heat-shield allowing a no-parachutes crash landing after asteroid mining mission. More about the upgraded AMi Capsule design.

More photos from the presentation of EcoRocket Heavy's first Propulsion Modules. 

June 20, 2023 - EcoRocket Heavy First Modules Assembly

The first five Propulsion Modules for the EcoRocket Heavy were assembled and lifted to vertical at the COSMOBASE.

These modules are forming an orbital launch vehicle in themselves with a launch capability of 200 kg to LEO.

While the production of more Propulsion Modules continue at ARCA, these five Modules will be presented to the public on July 1st, 2023, and they will be used for sea training operations as well as rocket engine tests at the COSMOBASE in 2023 and 2024.

More photos from the assembly of EcoRocket Heavy's first Propulsion Modules. 

February 9, 2023 - EcoRocket Underwater Launch Test

EcoRocket is a reusable, sea-launched, ecological propulsion, extremely cost-effective orbital launcher. The first suborbital and orbital launches were scheduled for 2021 and the beginning of 2022.

Due to launch licence delays and then the start of military operations in the Black Sea area, the launches had to be rescheduled. We are currently executing the procedures to relocate the launch activities in a different location that will be announced in 2023. 
Meanwhile, ARCA performed an underwater test launch called Mission 13, to validate the sea-launch concept.

In a world’s first, ARCA’s LAS-1 rocket started its engine underwater, validating the EcoRocket sea-launch concept for the AMi Exploration program.

More photos from Mission 13 test launch. 

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November 28, 2022 - EcoRocket-LAS-1 Placed in the Water Tower, Ready for Launch

 

The EcoRocket, LAS-1 derived version, was placed in the water tower for floating and sealing verifications. These verifications will be followed by a launch performed from underwater.

The information regarding the underwater start of a rocket engine are not too many. Challenges related to the engine sealing and water environment impact on the rocket engine thrust are to be determined under actual test at ARCA. Although limited data exist in relation to this, an actual underwater engine run is an important step forward to gather information for the development of EcoRocket Heavy for the AMi Exploration program.

More photos here.

 

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November 22, 2022 - LAS-1 Water Tower Launch Rehearsal

 

ARCA built a water tower for the upcoming Mission 13 launch. During this mission, the EcoRocket/LAS-1 will be submerged in the water tower and it will start the rocket engine directly underwater. In this way we aim to validate the underwater launch sequence for the EcoRocket Heavy, for the AMi Exploration program.

As far as we are aware of, this will be for the first time when a rocket engine will start directly underwater followed by an actual launch sequence.

More photos here.

 

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November 4, 2022 - EcoRocket Heavy Engine Mold

 

The mold for the rocket engine designed for the EcoRocket Heavy's first stage Propulsion Module was delivered to the COSMOBASE from ARCA’s fabrication facility for a fit-check with other airframe components and with the rocket engine test stand.

The rocket engine test stand will witness a major refit in the next months in order to accommodate the 30 tons of thrust engine for the EcoRocket Heavy.

More photos here.

 

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August 4, 2022 - LAS-1 Rocket Engine Test

 

At 1,000 kg of force (kgf) the LAS-1 rocket engine is the smallest from the Launch Assist System (LAS) series and it serves as a main engine for the AMi Exploration Spacecraft's Service Module (SM). The engine is tested in the test stand and a flight test will also follow, mounted on an EcoRocket derived version.

More photos here.

July 18, 2022 - AMi Exploration, EcoRocket Heavy, the COSMOBASE, Announced

 

On July 18, 2022, ARCA announced the AMi Exploration Space & Crypto Program which takes the experience, knowledge, and dedication gained in the past 23 years by the ARCA team and puts it in a decade long project that targets the asteroid mining operations.

Asteroid mining proposed mission sequence.

In order to achieve this ambitious objective of unlocking the biggest wealth through asteroid mining operations, we took the EcoRocket's cost-effective technology and put it in the EcoRocket Heavy, a rocket able to launch 24 tons into Low Earth Orbit. This is sufficient to launch the AMi Cargo spacecraft designed for asteroid mining operations starting with 2027.

Also, ARCA's test facility was named the COSMOBASE. (COSMOBAZA, Romanian).

More photos from the event.

November 12, 2021 - EcoRocket Second Stage Low Altitude Flight Test

 

ARCA performed an RCS system flight test to validate the vehicle's flight stability during launch as well as to validate in flight the ecological propulsion system. The flight test was designated as Mission 10D.

For this test, we used a specially-designed and -built silo. We elevated the test vehicle above ground, and attached its ballast, just as it would happen during a sea-based launch. For the whole duration of the test, the vehicle was tethered to the ground. The test allowed us to gather valuable data regarding the aerospike engine and our ecological water-based propulsion technology. It also provided plenty of data on the vehicle’s dynamic stability and its Reaction Control System (RCS), increasing our confidence in a successful first launch in January 2022.

More Mission 10D photos.

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October 5, 2021 - EcoRocket Launch License Not Issued by the CAA

 

Shockingly, the Romanian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) stated this morning that it will not release the approval for the EcoRocket launch set between October 8-12 from the Black Sea with the logistical support of F-111 Mărășești guided missiles frigate.

CAA received the documents package from the Ministry of Defense, the Air Force and Navy Chief of Staff, The Romanian Air Traffic Services Administration (ROMATSA), together with the completed procedures with ICAO and Ministry of Transportation, based on which they should have been releasing the final launch approval, which it should have been a clear and simple process.

With the CAA refusing to issue the launch license, ROMATSA wasn’t able to release the NOTAM and activate the safety area for the launch. All civilian and military forces were demobilized this morning. The same safety area was used by ARCA during the past 12 years for 7 rocket launches with no issues whatsoever. Currently ARCA works diligently together with other government agencies to understand the reasons that led to this unprecedented and unfortunate incident and resume the launch activities as soon as possible.

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September 25, 2021 - EcoRocket Launch Window Set

 

The launch window for the first EcoRocket flight was set between September 27 - October 12, from the Black Sea with the logistical support of a Navy's F-111 Mărășești guided missiles frigate.

All expenses associated with this launch are covered by ARCA from private sources, and no government funding is involved.

August 21, 2021 - The EcoRocket Second Stage Test

 

While we are waiting for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) launch license, the tests for the EcoRocket are progressing at a very fast pace.

We are testing virtually non-stop, night and day, to maximize the vehicle's performance and increase the probability of a successful orbital flight.

More photos from the test.

 

July 10, 2021 - Mission 10 EXAM, Rehearsal for EcoRocket Launch

 

In order to rehearse the launch procedure, ARCA performed a sea training in July 10, 2021, on the Black Sea. The training was designated as EXAM Mission 10. 

During the EXAM Misiunea 10 activity EcoRocket was placed on the sea surface using the NMH Catuneanu onboard crane.. The rocket needs to stay in vertical position before launch, so we rehearsed this procedure.

EcoRocket is sea-launched, a procedure that allows high flexibility in terms of launch locations. It also offers the advantage of significantly reducing the development cost as no launch pad and associated infrastructure is needed.

The NMH Catuneanu hydrographic and oceanographic Navy’s research ship offered the logistical support for the EXAM Mission 10 activity.

We wish to express our gratitude towards the Navy's crews for their dedication in completing this mission.

More photos from Mission 10 EXAM.

 

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June 29, 2021 - EcoRocket Loaded on Navy Ship

 

The EcoRocket was loaded on the NMH Catuneanu Navy ship in preparation of the EXAM Mission 10 sea training. This training is performed by ARCA in advance of the EcoRocket Mission 10 launch scheduled for the next months from the Black Sea.

More photos from this activity.

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June 27, 2021 - EcoRocket Presented in Constanta

 

EcoRocket arrived in Constanta, and is displayed in the Ovidiu Square. We are waiting for you to see the EcoRocket and talk to the team before the rocket departure to the naval base in preparation for the EXAM Mission 10 sea training.

More photos from the EcoRocket presentation in Constanta.

 

February 7, 2021 - EcoRocket Landing Engine Test

 

EcoRocket successfully fired its landing engine for the first time and performed a short jump in the Dynamic Test Stand (DTS). The landing engine, with a thrust of 700 kgf is used to safely land the EcoRocket's first stage.

The first EcoRocket orbital launch is scheduled for the fall of 2021.

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January 13, 2021 - 100 Years of Romanian Airclub

 

The Romanian Airclub is celebrating 100 years since its foundation.

ARCA and the Airclub partnered for Mission 5 and 8 and our people worked together for many other successful flight tests. We were happy and honoured to join the Airclub for their anniversary and we wish them another great 100 years in taking the Romanian aviation tradition further into the future.

More photos.

 

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