Monday, November 16, 2009

Romanian space launch postponed

BUCHAREST, Romania, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Inclement weather postponed Friday's launch of the Helen Rocket -- Romania's first attempt to reach space, authorities said.

Officials from the Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association were to try again Saturday to launch Helen over the Black Sea with the aid of Romanian Military Marine officials and a balloon, Romanian Hot News reported.

The world's largest solar balloon is to lift Helen to an altitude of about 8 miles before the rocket's engines fire and propel it into suborbital space.

The project's final phase calls for the retrieval from the Black Sea of video and radio equipment to be sent up with Helen.

The use of a solar balloon and oxygenated water, an ecologically sustainable fuel, to launch a rocket is a first, researchers said.

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