Author: Fabio Kerstens

Stratos IV: Shooting for Space

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are…
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Stratos III versus the ‘big boys’. How does it compare?

As you all know, our Stratos III rocket was launched this summer to break the European altitude record for students. Unfortunately the flight ended prematurely at an altitude of around ten kilometers. In this blogpost I would like to take a closer look at the Stratos III rocket and see how it compares to the…
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How to Ignite a Rocket Engine?

Just like your car, a rocket needs a way to get its engine started and for project Stratos we made our own ignition system! A successful igniter must be small enough to fit inside the rocket engine, energetic enough to ensure a reliable start and without any components that could damage the rest of the…
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Cancelled Launch Attempt July 24

Unfortunately, we have cancelled the launch window for today. Although the weather was suitable for launch in the early afternoon, the weather balloon data obtained in the evening showed winds at lower altitudes are much stronger than predicted. This led to margins on wind becoming smaller than expected, making a launch today not possible. As…
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How to build a rocket engine – Part II

In this second part of the explanation of the Nimbus engine, we will focus on the nozzle. The nozzle is the part of the engine where the flaming and expanding gasses flow out, accelerating our rocket to up to three times the speed of sound. It is located all the way at the bottom of…
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Launch T-2 Days (Hold Day 3)

Today, exactly 49 years after the historic moon landing of Apollo 11, we successfully performed our first full dress rehearsal in Spain together with INTA. Early in the morning, we placed the rocket on the cart and transported it to the pad. Our photographer Jurriaan Brobbel made an amazing group picture of us, the INTA…
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Launch T – 2 Days (Hold Day 2)

In the early morning the brave rail-rangers gathered at the vehicle assembly building to perform another practice run with the rocket carrying rail. This time, we managed to load the rocket in the launch tower, for the first time since we arrived in Spain. After loading Stratos III in the tower, the tower with rocket…
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