The Reentry Target Vehicle (RTV) prototype during tests. A hypersonic RTV costs EUR19,900 serving as target for military antiballistic training.

How the Corruption of Romanian Government Agencies Led to the Creation of Rockets That Anyone Can Now Buy

Dumitru Popescu
Commercial ECOROCKET
4 min readAug 28, 2023


General Astronautics announced last week that it started selling rockets with a design based on the ecological and extremely cost effective EcoRocket technology developed by ARCA in the past years.

For ARCA, to make its rocket technology commercially available is unprecedented as this served so far only for company’s internal applications.

Why this decision though, after 24 years of keeping the technology in house?

The reasons are mainly related to the Romanian Government’s agencies corruption and collusion.

In the fall of 2021, ARCA scheduled the launch of its first orbital rocket from the Black Sea, aiming to make Romania the second European Union nation able to launch it’s own satellites after France.

But, back then, the launch clearance was rejected with 25 minutes after the deadline of launch window activation.

The same happened again in the spring of 2022 when the launch clearance was again rejected by actions of Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Behind these was a collusion between the Civil Aviation Authority, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Romanian Space Agency that even took a newspaper long page ad mocking the scheduled EcoRocket orbital launch.

All of these happened in spite of ARCA successfully securing all necessary approvals from the civilian and military agencies in charge with the process.

After years of hard work, testing, fabrication and spending significant amount of money for the project, these launch cancelations were a major setback for ARCA especially in terms of reputation and finances. Not performing an orbital launch for which we spent a lot and created a lot of expectations, even for reasons that are not directly related to us, but related to government collusion and corruption, this definitely had affected the company’s development.

Fortunately, ARCA is a pretty big, stable and experienced enterprise with a lot of inertia, and in spite of those things affecting us, we performed two successful low altitude launches in the following year to validate in flight the ecological propulsion, the sea launch, and the guidance system, and we are currently preparing the EcoRocket orbital launch far away from the Romanian airspace.

Also, ARCA was planning to release the AMi Exploration asteroid mining program on-top of a successful EcoRocket orbital launch. In spite of this launch not happening, we still went forward with the AMi Exploration release of which date was set for the summer of 2022. You can’t stop a company’s development because of government’s corruption.

The AMi Exploration implementation is defined on raising $100 million, based mainly on ARCA’s own crypto of which utility is related to the fact that starting with 2027 the first precious metals returned from the asteroids were to be exchanged for the AMiE crypto.

This is a long term objective, and adding on top of this an EcoRocket orbital launch that it didn’t happen, this affected the AMiE crypto sales. But the AMi program and the AMiE crypto represent ARCA’s future and therefore it needs our full attention, commitment and care.

Therefore, we’ve decided that we are going to put on the market our rocket technology and make it available for purchase with the AMiE crypto at a 10% discount compared to the fiat purchases.

So, what did we do exactly in terms of the EcoRocket technology commercialisation?

We basically took already existing ground and flight tested rockets and start selling them through General Astronautics, for civilian and military applications, targeting customers like private companies, universities, research institutes, space agencies, private individuals and military forces from around the world.

The four products are:

  • CER160, a small size ecological rocket able to reach an altitude of 20 km, with a payload of 3 kg, with a sale price of EUR19,900;
  • CER500, a medium size ecological rocket able to reach an altitude of 30 km, with a payload of 100 kg, with a sale price of EUR39,900;
  • CER1200, a large size ecological rocket able to reach an altitude of 40 km with a payload of 1,000 kg, with a sale price of EUR199,900;
  • the Reentry Target Vehicle (RTV) and Multiple Independent Reentry Target Vehicle (MIRTV), able to reach hypersonic speeds, designed for military antiballistic training, with a sale price of EUR19,900.

In spite of these affordable prices, I was realistically expecting to see the first signs of sales interest in around one to two months after the products release, but I was surprised to see this happening in the first four days from big customers.

Now, the question one may ask is: Why no other company was able to sell rockets so far, targeting even private individuals as customers?

Well, the question has two answers:

  • there are no such things as cost-effective rockets. Not until the Commercial EcoRocket;
  • there are no inherently safe and simple rockets able to work with non-flammable, non-explosive, ecological propellant. The Commercial EcoRocket does.

And this is how from the actions of corrupt government agencies, a completely unique series of products have hit the market, with the private individuals as a distinct segment of buyers, a segment it didn’t exist until now.

Well, I bet you would have never been expecting to witness the creation of personal rockets. Me neither. But we might just have created this.

More details about the General Astronautics commercial rockets:

More details about the AMiE crypto: