Encyclopedia Astronautica
Canadian Arrow



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Canadian Arrow
Canadian manned spacecraft. Study 2004. X-Prize suborbital ballistic spacecraft concept of Geoff Sheerin, Toronto. Reached the stage of engineering tests by 2003.

Canadian Arrow was designed by a team under Geoff Sheerin, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was a two-stage, three person sub-orbital rocket with the second stage doubling as an escape system. The first stage was 10.21 m long and 1.65 m in diameter with four fins at the base for aerodynamic stability. Steering of the vehicle was accomplished using graphite jet vanes and aerodynamic flaps on the fins. The second stage (crew cabin) was 6.1 m long, 1.65 m in base diameter, and contained four jet-assisted-take-off type rocket engines for second stage propulsion. The four solid rockets of the crew cabin could be ignited at any point during the flight, including before launch, to initiate a launch pad abort or an in-flight recovery sequence.

After countdown, the propellant valves would be opened, allowing the propellants to flow under gravity into the combustion chamber. Ignition occurs, initially producing only 7,700 kgf of thrust. The tanks would be brought up to full pressure, and the engine ramped up rapidly to full thrust of 25,900 kgf, lifting the vehicle from the launch pad. The first stage would burn out after 55 seconds at an altitude of 27 km. The crew cabin then would separate and burn for 5 seconds, boosting the vehicle on a ballistic arc to 113 km altitude. The acceleration prior to separation was to be no more than 4.5 Gs. The pilot was to orient the vehicle for the best window view for passengers during the flight. Just before re-entry a ram air ballute was deployed. Once the crew cabin slowed to subsonic speed the three main parachutes were pulled out, slowing the vehicle to a gentle splashdown.

The Canadian Arrow team had built a full-scale mock-up which it trucked to Manhattan in April 2002. In June 2003, Canadian Arrow announced their selection of astronauts to fly the Canadian Arrow vehicles in X Prize competition flights in late 2003, but engine development problems delayed the first launch.

Crew Size: 3.

Height: 16.46 m (54.00 ft).
Diameter: 1.65 m (5.41 ft).
Thrust: 253.98 kN (57,097 lbf).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • X-Prize The X-Prize competition was an attempt to promote commercial civilian spaceflight in a manner similar to the prizes handed out in the early days of aviation. Ten million dollars was to go to the first team to fly a vehicle capable of launching three people into space (defined as an altitude of 100 km in a suborbital trajectory), twice in a two-week period. The vehicle had to be 90% reusable by dry mass. For purposes of the two flights, the competition accepted flight by one person and ballast equivalent to two others at 90 kg per passenger. More...

Canadian Arrow Chronology


2002 April 25 - .
  • Canadian Arrow mock-up displayed. - . Nation: Canada. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: Canadian Arrow. Summary: Canadian Arrow (London, Ontario, Canada) displays full-scale rocket mock-up in New York City's Rockefeller Center..

2002 July 20 - .
  • Canadian Arrow injector tests. - . Nation: Canada. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: Canadian Arrow. Summary: Canadian Arrow (London, Ontario, Canada) successfully hot fire tests first stage propulsion system injector cup.

2002 October 5 - .
  • Canadian Arrow test stand completed. - . Nation: Canada. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: Canadian Arrow. Summary: Canadian Arrow (London, Ontario, Canada) rocket engine test stand complete..

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