Half-orbital NERVA launcher block for small leo satellites Conference Paper uri icon


  • The ADDA and UPB teams for space technology develop the immediately approachable Romanian NERVA orbital launcher. The NERVA vehicle is a small, readily available and low cost means to demonstrate the feasibility to achieve secured sub-orbital flights with a final velocity of up to half of the local orbital velocity, at low satellite altitude, by the re-conversion of retired soil-air SA-2 Guideline systems, now obsolete in Romania. The development plan involves a considerable raising of the final flight altitude and velocity from the basic soil-to-air conventional vehicle to a half-orbital velocity vector. A series of simple but decisive design improvements are implemented. For example, a new, superior three-axes attitude control system for the launching vehicle is provided, which may supply orbital altitude and velocity requirements with high accuracy. The management plan for the early development of the NERVA half-orbital velocity block is presented that keeps the basic solid and liquid motors unchanged, involving point improvements in the structure and control systems of the vehicle. The purpose of the research is to build and demonstrate a laboratory model of the new vehicle and of the functionality of the flight control system as a bench-top demonstrator. The development is supported by the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research within a three-years grant and is performed by a consortium of six research and industry partners.

published proceedings

  • International Astronautical Federation - 59th International Astronautical Congress 2008, IAC 2008

author list (cited authors)

  • Rugescu, R. D., Mortari, D., Farcasanu, I., Martin, V., Teujan, E., Lonescu, M. D., & Dragomir, D.

complete list of authors

  • Rugescu, RD||Mortari, D||Farcasanu, I||Martin, V||Teujan, E||Lonescu, MD||Dragomir, D

publication date

  • December 2008