Romania's Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association (ARCA) team have declared the second mission to test the human spaceflight Stabilo vehicle a success.
This second mission, launched on 25 September at 0830h local time from Romania's Cape Midia Air Force Base launch site, saw the vehicle's first and second stages rise to an altitude of 39,300ft (12,000m). However the goal had been 52,400ft but this wasn't achieved because of a human error during balloon inflation.
At 39,300ft Stabilo-1B was dropped and its custom made parachute was deployed at a point in the descent when the dynamic pressure was very high. The flight saw the main parachute and vehicle's electronic equipment tested successfully.
After 1h 30min the vehicle was intercepted by the Romanian navy ship Saturn, floating on the Black Sea about 30km from the launching point, and recovered by the Navy's divers. The recovery ship was guided by Stabilo's transmitting equipment and the Romanian Air Force's radar stations.
ARCA had planned for a manned flight this September, leading to a suborbital launch in 2009 but its original plan was to send Stabilo to 65,500ft in March and release it. ARCA had planned six test flights between last March and the end of 2009.
The missions following what had been the planned manned september flight were to see the release of Stabilo at 65,500ft to fire its hydrogen peroxide-fuelled engine for an undisclosed duration in the first half of 2008, followed by a supersonic flight using the rocket motor later that year.
There are two final flights planned for 2009: a manned mission to an undisclosed altitude, and a second to send a pilot to 245,000ft.
Watch ARCA's first flight video - how good is your Romanian?