Canadian Arrow was a privately developed sub-orbital vehicle which was based on the World War 2 V-2 Rocket design. The vehicle had been updated using technology of the 2000s and data from over 3,000 previous flights of the early V-2 type rockets.
Geoff Sheerin was the founder and President of Canadian Arrow which was based in London, Ontario, Canada. PlanetSpace planned to operate the Canadian Arrow at a cost of $250,000 per seat service in 2007.
About the Vehicle
The Canadian Arrow was a two-stage, crewed sub-orbital rocket which was 54ft in height. The first stage was 33.5 ft long and 5.4 ft in diameter. Aerodynamic stability and steering of the Canadian Arrow was achieved by using graphite jet vanes and aerodynamic flaps on the four fins at the base of the vehicle. A single 57,000-lb thrust liquid propellant rocket engine propelled the first stage. The first stage propellants were fed to the engine using a pressurized gas system. This system was made up of two propellant tanks for fuel and oxidizer, topped by a single composite construction high-pressure gas sphere.
The second stage (crew cabin) was 20 ft long and 5.4 ft in diameter at the base and doubles as an escape system during a flight or while on the launch pad. The second stage propulsion contained four solid rockets (JATO type rocket engines) which could be fired at anytime during the flight, including a launch pad abort.
Sub Orbital Flights
The flight profile called for the rocket to coast to a maximum height of 112 kilometres (70 miles), giving the passengers a few minutes of weightlessness and a view of the curving earth with a black sky above. On the way down, the crew capsule would separate from the rest of the rocket and parachute down to a water landing. The main body was also recoverable via parachutes. The complete flight was expected to last 15 minutes.
* On 25 April 2002 Canadian Arrow displayed a full-scale rocket mock-up in New York City’s Rockefeller Center.
* In 2003, Canadian Arrow opened its Canadian Arrow Space Centre in London, Ontario, Canada. In June 2003, Canadian Arrow introduced the six individuals who were selected to train to become the test pilot astronauts: Larry C. Clark, David Ballinger, Jason Paul Dyer, Wayne ‘Terry’ Wong, Marvin Edward ‘Ted’ Gow, and Dr. Yaroslav ‘Yarko’ Pustovyi.
* Canadian Arrow was a contender in the X-Prize competition which was won by Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne in October 2004. Canadian Arrow didn’t finish developing their rocket in time to try for the $10 million X Prize, but it did conduct a drop test of its crew capsule in August 2004.
* In 2005 Canadian Arrow linked up with Internet entrepreneur Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria to form PlanetSpace to offer $250,000 suborbital flights.
* The Canadian Arrow’s V2 based rocket engine was successfully tested on May 12, 2005 at a thrust level of 50,000 lb (223kN), which is sufficient to get the three-man capsule into space.
* In June 2005 Canadian Arrow was granted permission to use Cape Rich located on the tip of Canadian Forces Meaford Range and Training Area for rocket test flights. Cape Rich is an ideal location for launch and recovery in the fresh waters of Georgian Bay.
* Canadian Arrow was planning to run a test the launch pad abort system at Cape Rich in September 2005.
The first unmanned launch into space by Canadian Arrow was planned to happen in 2006. The Canadian Arrow wanted to send crews of two pilot astronauts on each of the early manned test flights. All six astronauts would have eventually flown various missions.
Did you know?
The V-2 Rocket was a German rocket. It was used from 1943 to 1945 during World War 2 as a missile. There have been various variations of the V-2 rocket:
– The USA’s V-2 was flown from 1946 to 1952 under various configurations.
– The Soviet Union’s R-1 was a copy of German V-2 and was flown from 1947 to 1953. It had a range of 270km.
– The Soviet Union’s R-2, a derivative of the R-1 was flown from 1953 to 1957. It weighted 50 percent more than the R-1 and the range doubled to 600km.
– China’s DF-1 is the Chinese version of the R-2, active from 1959 to 1963.
Canadian Arrow links:
CanadianArrow.com: Official Website of Canadian Arrow (website no longer works – 2017)
PlanetSpace.org: Space Tourist Company (website no longer works – 2017)
R-1: Soviet copy of the German A-4 missile.
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