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Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association (ARCA) is a non-governmental organization, that promotes innovative aerospace projects located in Valcea County.
ARCA joined the Ansari X Prize Competition in 2002 and since then it became one of the leading teams. ARCA developed two main projects: the Demonstrator rockets and STABILO. Demonstrator 2B rocket, equipped with world first composite materials reusable monopropellant engine ever to fly, was successfully launched on September 9, 2004 from the Cape Midia Air Force Launch Site on the Black Sea shore. STABILO, a two stages manned suborbital air launched vehicle completed three flights until now. The first stage is world largest Solar Montgolfier balloon and the second stage is a rocket powered manned spaceship. First low altitude flights of Stabilo were completed in 2006. In the same year, Mission1 was completed at an altitude of 14700m. In 2007 Stabilo’s Mission2 was launched at an altitude of 12000m above the Black Sea. The team received flight data via a communication satellite. The landing point was located at 30km (16.2miles) from the launch site. The Navy recovered the vehicle, the recovery ship being guided from ARCA’s Command Center.
The Google Lunar X PRIZE is a $30 million international competition 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.
Teams must be at least 90% privately funded and must be registered to compete by December 31, 2010. The first team to land on the Moon and complete the mission objectives will be awarded $20 million; the full first prize is available until December 31, 2012. After that date, the first prize will drop to $15 million. The second team to do so will be awarded $5 million. Another $5 million will awarded in bonus prizes. The final deadline for winning the prize is December 31, 2014.