While a few teams are presenting innovative ways of landing on the Moon, most have yet to figure out how to leave their home planet without going broke.
Ironically their seems to be only one team that has created an inexpensive way of sending their "little rover" beyond our sky--and the fact that this team is located in Romania may humble competing teams in both the US and Canada.
(Arca Space) HAAS is an innovative air-launched, 3 stages orbital rocket, preliminary designed in 2006 using the technology developed at ARCA during The Ansari X Prize Competition and The European Private Manned Space Program. The rocket was named after Conrad Haas* (1509-1579) Austrian-Romanian medieval rocket pioneer, the first creator of multiple stages rockets. [...]
The HAAS rocket will be lifted at 18.000m altitude with the help of a 2.000.000 m3 Solar Montgolfier balloon.
While this "balloon rocket launch" may not be fit for humans, it may enable colonists to cheaply send supplies to the surface of the Moon, ensuring that our future lunar citizens do not starve to death.
Note: Even though the "solar volley ball" may not be suitable for lunar colonists in the future, it will probably have enough fuel to win the $30 million prize from Google, not to mention securing Romania's place in the history books.
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