Project Stratos is the flagship project of Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE). The first Stratos rocket was launched from Kiruna, Sweden in 2009. This two-staged, solid propellant rocket reached an altitude of 12.3km, which at the time was the European altitude record for student rocketry.
Stratos II, the successor of Stratos I, was meant to fly even higher than that, but unfortunately did not lift off due to a misfire of the engine. This lead to a redesign of the rocket that was designated Stratos II+. Stratos II+ was launched in October 2015, from an INTA facility near Huelva, Spain and flew to an altitude of 21.5km breaking our own record set by Stratos I.
Recently, our record was broken by Hybrid Engine Development from Stuttgart, Germany, setting it to 32.3km. Consequently, DARE decided to combine the knowledge that was gained during the Stratos I and Stratos II projects to develop Stratos III, which will be designed to go well beyond that boundary, taking us even to the edge of space!
The mission statement of Stratos III reads as follows:
“Stratos III will be a student designed rocket that will improve the current European altitude record for student rocketry, before Fall 2017”
The team was formed in the summer of 2016 after a transition phase from the Stratos II+ team. It consists of students of various nationalities studying at various faculties of Delft University of Technology, where also the development and main production is done. The Stratos team is a team within Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE) and all Stratos members possess full DARE membership.
We realise that the goal and time-frame are ambitious, however, we want to prove that it is very well possible not only for big companies and government organisations to have access to space but also for students. By that, we want to make the public enthusiastic about spaceflight, science and engineering.
As of November 2016, the first baseline concept for Stratos III has been established and the preliminary design has started. The baseline design consists of a single stage rocket with a hybrid rocket engine, similar to the previous Stratos generation. The engine will deliver an average thrust of about 14.2kN (20kN peak) for a burn time of 25 seconds. Furthermore, several new innovations within DARE will be implemented in the Stratos design such as a composite structure and an active parachute deployment system. For production and assembly, we make use of the facilities in the infamous D:Dream-Hall of the TU Delft, where also other student projects (also known as D:Dream Teams) are housed.
We will post more technical details of the rocket as the development progresses.
Stratos III is sponsored by various academic partners and companies from many different sectors who have an interest in highly skilled, independently working and ambitious engineering graduates. These attributes can be found in our team members and often graduates chose to work at a sponsoring company after finishing their studies.
A complete list of our sponsoring partners can be found here.
The partnership agreements are very versatile: Examples include simply providing materials in kind, support in engineering processes and financial support.
In return, we offer exposure of the sponsor on our website, test and launch videos and social media, official team clothing and even on the rocket itself! Other forms of partnerships are of course also possible.
If your company is interested in helping Stratos III reach space or if you are an individual who wants to contribute, feel free to contact us here