Saturday, December 29, 2012
Romania's ARCA Working ExoMars Project
ARCA signed a $1.1 million contract with the European Space Agency for testing the parachutes used for deceleration in the Mars atmosphere in the ExoMars program.
ARCA will build two large high altitude balloons and two testing vehicles weighting more than half a tone each. The vehicle, named the DTV, or Drop Test Vehicle, will be launched from 30 km altitude, over the Black Sea. The vehicle will fall until it will reach a speed up to 0.8 Mach. At this transonic speed, the DTV will deploy the parachutes to test them in flight, in the simulated Martian atmospheric conditions. The flight data will be transmitted from the DTV to the ARCA's Flight Command and Control Center.