News

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

Stratos III Launch Summary

“Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” With this blog post we want to review our launch last Wednesday. Several very impressive engineering feats were performed before final take-off. We would like to give some more in-depth information about the problems encountered and the creativity that let us solve them. “You can’t have a perfect…
Read more

Stratos III Failure

Last night, we launched our Stratos III rocket attempting to break the European altitude record. The procedures took all night and finally around 3:30 in the morning the rocket lifted off successfully. Then, 20 seconds into the flight the rocket disintegrated. The pieces landed in the ocean within the safety zone. Together with INTA (Instituto…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

Launch T-1 Day

Pressure is rising with only 24 hours to go before the first launch attempt. Today we checked out all our electronic systems for interference by means of an electromagnetic compatibility test. This in simple terms is just turning all your transmitting and receiving systems on and verifying if they all still work. Other than checking…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

Launch T – 2 days (Hold day 1)

The biggest news of today is the change in our launch date. We were planning to have our first launch attempt this Friday but due to external reasons we were forced to move it to Tuesday July 24th at 20:00 CEST. The reason for rescheduling is the delayed delivery of the flight termination receiver, which…
Read more