News Archive, 2021 - 2023
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.