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by Staff Writers
Paris, France (SPX) Jan 02, 2013
ARCA and the European Space Agency (ESA) signed a 1,1 mil. $ contract for the ExoMars, High Altitude Drop Test - Balloon Flight Services Program (HADT-BFS). During the contract, ARCA will contribute to the 2016 ExoMars spacecraft program by testing its parachutes, that will allow it to safely land on Mars.
The cooperation decision was taken after preliminary meetings between ARCA and ESA. On these meetings, the European Space Agency presented the program's requirements while ARCA responded to these requirements by its own technical capabilities and expertise.
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.
"ARCA will test the parachutes for the ExoMars spacecraft in 2013, during the High Altitude Drop Test Program. After the program completion we must qualify the parachutes, that will allow the ExoMars spacecraft to safely land on the Martian surface." - Don McCoy - ESA, ExoMars Project Manager.
"Space exploration is ARCA's main long term objective and our involvement in the ExoMars program is part of our vision. For the ExoMars program ARCA will build the hardware and will perform the flights that will make possible the spacecraft's parachutes tests." - Dumitru Popescu, ARCA President.
ExoMars at ESA
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
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