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about us

Our primary activities revolve around Research and Development in Astronautics.

As a recipient of government funds from the Romanian budget budget through national contests, ADDA strives for transparency and excellence in our endeavour to offer Romania cheap, clean access to outer space through ingenious solutions such as the Nerva Orbital Launcher which is based on advanced propulsion systems. By reducing costs and imagining new, cheap solutions that integrate existing technologies, we will be able to open space to a whole new level of private investment.

As an R&D organization, through its Articles of Incorporation, ADDA Ltd is nonprofit which only secures the wages for the researchers, with all other revenues reinvested for furthering its research activities and potential. Therefore, according to national legislation pertaining to "state aid", the government funding obtained by ADDA does not constitute said "state aid".

Art 3.3 - exerpt from the Articles of Incorporation: All revenue surplus and profits are reinvested back into research, dissemination and education activities.”


The ADDA Research Program began in 1962 with the goal of creating a theoretical and experimental background for the development of a genuine rocket engines system.

Back in the '60s the author was challenged by a rather limited knowledge of the experimental handling of liquid propellant rocket engines in this country. While authorities were requesting the development of such propulsion systems for special purposes, the author initiated his proprietary scientific program called ADDA for “Analyses Dedicated to Development in Astronautics” at the Aviation Chair of “Politehnica” University in Bucharest. It was a program for the development of small scale, low cost liquid propellant rocket motors (LPRM), amidst with adequate computer prediction of performances and led to the construction of a test stand and the series “MRE-1” LPRM, which underwent the first static firing on April 9-th 1969.

From the very beginning of the researches carried out throughout the ADDA program it was stated that low cost technology of liquid propellant rocket systems can be successfully used to further improve the knowledge in this technology.


The first official mention of the name ADDA comes from Saint Sava College Golden Book, in 1958. Prior to this moment, Mr. Rugescu did his own share of rocketry, inspired by the dawn of the space age.


Hermann Oberth was the last person to conduct rocket experiments in Romania until the early 1960s, as they were essentially forbidden there after World War II, even though the country had a well-developed aircraft industry. In 1962, a group of very young students, led by Radu Rugescu at the Polytechnic University in Bucharest, began a limited program in rocket propulsion research, which was neither funded nor encouraged by the government. At the IAF Congress, Dr. Rugescu described this unusual program, which was, unfortunately, stopped by the Romanian military in 1969, just as it attained success.

Dr. Rugescu said he wanted to "raise the Iron Curtain," to look back to 16 years after the end of World War II, when he and six friends designed and built a test stand for experiments, in what was called the MRE rocket engine program. Dr. Rugescu reported the young students were "secretely" encouraged by Oberth, who knew about their work. "This paper," he said, "is the first international presentation of the experiemental research activity in rocket propulsion developed in Bucharest."

The goal of the program, carried out by the Association Dedicated to the Development of Astronatics, was to design and build a small, low-thrust rocket motor, and the accompanying test stand for static firing of the engine. The intention was to prove the feasibility of an engine, as a scale model for a motor ten times larger that could propel a sub-orbital sounding research rocket.

The developers did extensive testing of various types of rocket propellants, studied the efficiency of various combustion chamber designs, examined the performance of different materials, and all other aspects of rocket technology. The diminutive size of the engine developed and tested is indicated by the fact that its mass flow rate of propellant to the engine was 127 grams per second, or a little over four ounces.

The test stand was a sophisticated apparatus, consisting of the propellant feed system, and measuring instruments to collect technical data on the performance of the engine during a test. The MRE rocket engine was successfully tested for 20 seconds on April 9, 1969 at the main laboratory of the Polytechnic University in Bucharest. That was the engine's first, and only, test. The military ended the program.

Today, the MRE engine and test stand are used as a training installation for students and faculty at the University. Demonstrations are carried out in workshops for students of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.