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News Archive, 2002 - 2008


May 20, 2008 - Google Lunar X Prize Teams Summit, Strasbourg, France


ARCA participated at the Google Lunar X Prize Summit, held in Strasbourg, France. "We are pleased to announce the first Google Lunar X Prize space flight. The (ELL), ARCA’s lunar vehicle for this competition will be the payload for the flight. ELL will be carried in space, at an altitude of 100 km, by a booster rocket. The tests are in progress and the flight called Mission 3 will be launched in 2009. The rocket will be lifted up to an altitude of 18 km by the world largest solar balloon. At that altitude the rocket engine will start and will send the ELL to space. The rocket and ELL will land on the sea. ELL will execute several avionics systems tests, take measurements, photos, and transmit live video to Earth." ARCA president, Dumitru Popescu



February 21, 2008 - Google Lunar X Prize Kick-off, Mountain View, CA


ARCA joined the Google Lunar X Prize Competition (GLXP). The main objective of GLXP is: "To safely land a robot on the surface of the Moon, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send images and data back to the Earth." The prize is $30 million.


September 27, 2007 - Stabilo, Mission 2 Launch


Mission2 flight of Stabilo1B vehicle was launched today at 08:30 local time from Cape Midia Air Force Base. The team prepared Mission 2 in close cooperation with the Navy, Air Force and Civil Aviation. The carrier balloon and Stabilo vehicles reached an altitude of 12.000 m. After one and a half hours, Stabilo was identified on the sea surface by Navy's Saturn ship. The recovery ship was guided by the satellite transmission system and by Air Force radars.


December 2, 2006 –Stabilo, Mission 1 Launch


Mission 1 was launched on December 2, 2006. A solar balloon (probably the largest at that time) carried Stabilo capsule to an altitude of 48,200 ft (14,700 m). The capsule was recovered at 30 km distance from the launch point, as the recovery system worked perfectly.Mission 1 flight demonstrated ARCA's capability to transport and safely recover a payload from above 85% of the Earth's atmosphere. The flight system traveled 42 mi (68 km) from the launch point. The event was covered live by the media.


October 17 - 21, 2006 – X Prize Cup, Las Cruces, New Mexico


ARCA president, Dumitru Popescu presented the Stabilo suborbital vehicle and ARCA's plans to fly this vehicle in 2006 and 2007, at ISPS-2006. The X Prize teams leaders discussed about new collaboration opportunities after the end of the Ansari X Prize Competition.


September 18, 2006 – Stabilo Suborbital Vehicle Unveiled


"Stabilo is the first completely new sub-orbital spaceship created after the end of the Ansari X Prize Competition. ARCA will continue to work to consolidate the newborn industry of commercial manned space flight. We want Stabilo to stimulate other teams to pursuit in the creation of new vehicles. The teams must focus on the development of the flight hardware. Those are the tools that will allow all of us to go forward." - Dumitru Popescu, ARCA President.

ARCA already started the flight tests of the STABILO vehicle. The first two flights Mission1 and 2 will be performed before the end of 2007.


October 6-9, 2005 – X Prize Cup, Las Cruces, New Mexico


ARCA Team participated at the X Prize CUP Countdown and at International Symposium for Personal Spaceflight. ARCA presented the plan for the incoming X Prize Cup event and for suborbital space tourism, during the ISPS and Space Flight Museum events in Las Cruces and Alamogordo.



November 6, 2004 – X Prize Gala, St. Louis


The $10 million Ansari X Prize was officially awarded to Scaled Composites, who won the competition on October 4 with the SSO-White Knight suborbital vehicle. At the event participated X Prize Foundation officials, Scaled Composites Team members, St. Louis officials, DaVinci, DeLeon, HARC, TGV and ARCA teams. The teams discussed with X Prize officials about the X Prize Cup incoming event.



September 9, 2004 – Demonstrator 2B Launch


The Demonstrator 2B rocket was launched today from Cape Midia, Air Force Launch Site. Demonstrator 2B was launched at an altitude of 4000 ft (1200 m) with a maximum flight speed of 420 miles/h (680 km/h).The event was covered live, becoming one of the best media covered event from the Ansari X Prize Competition.


May 30, 2004 – Demonstrator 2B Rocket Engine Pushed to Full Thrust


The world's first composite materials reusable monopropellant rocket engine was pushed today to full thrust for 20 sec. This major success for ARCA was obtained after 11 preliminary tests in which the test team measured different parameters (temperature, pressure, fuel flow, etc). The same engine will be placed on board Demonstrator 2B rocket for the first flight.



April 16-18, 2004 – X Prize Teams Summit, Los Angeles, CA


Representatives from X Prize teams have met in Los Angeles on April 16th for a two-day Summit hosted by X Prize Foundation. The officials and teams leaders discussed on the continuing development of the X Prize Cup, the planned series of yearly competitions in a venue to be decided between the two finalist States, Florida and New Mexico. After the Summit concluded, attendees were treated to the excitement of grandstand seats across from the pits, near the finish line, to watch the Long Beach Grand Prix, the season opener for X Prize's presenting sponsor Champ Car World Series Racing.


March 20, 2004 - Demonstrator 2B Rocket, Flight Computer


The work to the flight computer of the Demonstrator 2B vehicle is underway. The computer will control all the flight procedures of the vehicle from the start of the countdown until the parachute ejection. The computer architecture and construction are integrally made by ARCA.



September 27, 2003 - Demonstrator 2 Rocket, Public Presentation


ARCA presented the Demonstrator 2 vehicle together with it's launch complex. The hardware was visited by around 3000 people during three days. The new rocket will be launched by ARCA, for the X Prize Competition in 2004.


October 16, 2002 - ARCA Join the X Prize Competition


ARCA joined the X Prize Competition at the World Space Congress, Houston. The announcement was made by Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and Founder of the X PRIZE, at a press conference. Beside Diamandis at the press conference were John Carmack (Armadillo Aerospace), Pablo De Leon (De Leon), cosmonaut Dumitru-Dorin Pruanriu and Ms. Anousheh Ansari, newly-elected X Prize Trustee, benefactor and business executive from Dallas. "The X PRIZE Competition was created to attract the best and brightest of today's aerospace engineers to develop private spaceships for space tourism" explained Diamandis.

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