Helen 2 is the first Romanian space rocket launched by ARCA in the Google Lunar X Prize

The launch program

At at 07:00 AM, on October 1th 2010,  NSSL 281 Constanta military ship, accompanied by Fulgerul and Bombard crafts left harbour pier 0 and proceeded to Helen LRD safety zone on the Black Sea. Onboard were ARCA team and Helen 2 launch system.
At 15:30 the rocket was fueled and lowered onto the sea.
At 16:00 we started inflating the balloon and at 4:40 p.m. the system took off.

The balloon ascent took 40 minutes to an altitude of 14,000 m. The maximum speed of the balloon was 120 km / h. The flight data was transmitted to the control centers of the ARCA and ROMATSA (civil aviation authority) who confirmed the flight trajectory with an error of only 800 m from the center of the LRD Helen safety.

At an altitude of 14000m, the ship has ordered that the rocket engine starts operating for 30 seconds, putting the rocket to an altitude of 40,000 m.

At reentry the parachute of the capsule did not open.

Fulgerul fast ship, followed by NSSL 281 Constanta went to retrieve the capsule, but were unable to identify it. Searches were stopped at 22:00, ARCA team considering unnecessary to stay in the area, since most data were transmitted by radio telemetry and satellite and recovery isn`t an objective of the Google Lunar X Prize Competition.

Objectives achieved

  • The successful launch of the first Romanian space rocket
  • The first flight of the Google Lunar X Prize Competition completed
  • The verification of the method for the gravitational stabilization Popescu – Diaconu by a rocket payload with lower levels and can be towed through the joint elastic stabilizevertical flight path. This system, one of the most innovative aircraft systems developed in recent decades, will be used by ARCA in the the flight path to the moon
  • The highest altittude reached by a flying object designed and built entirely in Romania
  • The launch of a completely green space rocket engine operating exclusively with hydrogene peroxide
  • The first successful cooperation between a non-profit organization and a military institution
  • ARCA demonstrate the ability to conduct and coordinate the extremely complex aerospace program technically and logistically, in Romania.

The financing

The space rocket design and construction of Helen 2 space rocket was conducted exclusively with private funds. The costs required for the mission launch operations were supported by ARCA, with help from partners. BRD bank, Rompetrol oil and Calor

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