DARE is the leading rocket supplier for the annual Dutch CanSat competition. Teams of 15 to 16-year-old pupils competed to build the best CanSat, a small satellite built inside a soda can to be launched by a rocket. This is a great way of teaching young students about space and gaining their interest in pursuing a technological study. From its conception in 2007 until in 2014, the TU Delft organized the competition as an outreach to Dutch secondary schools. Since 2014, ESERO has been organizing a newly styled CanSat competition.

From the beginning, DARE has been improving the CanSat Launcher to suit the growing competition needs better. Experience in logistics and operations of several launch campaigns has resulted in very successful launches of more than 30 CanSats until now. Learning from past experiences, DARE has grown to be a professional and reliable partner in the organization of this competition.

The low apogee of the CanSat rockets provides the unique opportunity to test and fly the vehicles in the Netherlands. The competition is held at ASK ‘t Harde in Gelderland once a year.

CanSat Launcher System V7


The CanSat V7 Launcher can carry multiple CanSats to an altitude of one kilometer. At its apogee, the rocket releases two side hatches and deploys the CanSats and a parachute to glide gently back to Earth. After landing, the launcher is recovered, refurbished in Delft and prepared for the next mission. The reusability of the launcher, combined with the relatively short turnaround time and effective production methods, make the vehicle very cost-effective.


The CanSat V7 is propelled by the DX-1 solid rocket motor, capable of delivering a total impulse of 2.7 kNs and a burn time of 3.5 seconds. The propellant consists of a blend of potassium nitrate and sorbitol, which burns at a relativity low temperature. This allows the use of a stainless steel motor casing and nozzle which, after thorough cleaning, can be reloaded and re-flown on a new mission. The DX-1 is the oldest engine in DARE and has a very long flight heritage.


All ejection and release mechanisms are mechanically operated, limiting the use of pyrotechnic devices. This makes the vehicle very safe during operations and handling and allows pupils to insert their own CanSat in the rocket themselves. After this, no one is allowed near to the rocket anymore. The DARE Safety Board inserts the solid motor in the launcher, transports it to the launch tower and prepares the vehicle for lift-off.


2.26 m

7.41 ft


15.6 cm

6.1 in


1500 N

337 lbf

Dry Mass

11.0 kg

24.2 lb

Propellant Mass

2.5 kg

5.5 lb

Specific Impulse

106 s


Between 2005 and 2006, DARE started the development of its own CanSat Launcher. We produced three prototypes: CSL v1, CSL v2 & CSL v3. After the successful launch of the third prototype, development started on the first production model, the CSL v4, for the pilot CanSat Competition held in 2007. A year later, the competition went national and needed an improved model, the CSL v5. This rocket incorporated all the experience and lessons learned during the previous versions. As a result, the rocket was very reliable and easy to use.

After the CanSat competition was discontinued temporarily, DARE started working on the improved CanSat v7. The seventh generation is very reliable, safe and cost-effective to manufacture and is still used today. Moreover, the vehicle is designed in a modular fashion, which allows research and development teams in DARE to test their new systems in flight without having to develop an entirely new vehicle.

A good example is the ACT CanSat, which features four canards to actively stabilize the vehicle. Another example is Aether; tests with the CanSat rocket were carried out as a demonstrator for the larger vehicle, which features supersonic canards. Our Parachute Research Group has also flown several CanSats and tested new parachute deployment systems on the vehicle, such as gas-powered ejection.

CanSat Launcher System V8

We are thrilled to announce the ongoing development of the CanSat Launcher V8, the latest addition to our renowned CanSat launcher family.

With a rich history of innovation and improvement, DARE has consistently enhanced the CanSat Launcher System to meet dynamic misson objectives. We have gained extensive experience in logistics and operations through dozens of succesful launches. This experience has positioned us as a reliable and professional partner in helping organize this prestigious event.

The CanSat Launcher V7 has been a reliable and cost-effective solution for the competition for over a decade. Building upon its success, the development of the CanSat Launcher V8 aims to leverage the valuable lessons learned from its predecessor while adhering to its proven system architecture, which will ensure a seamless transition whilst maintain the high standards set by its success.


The CanSat Launcher V8 will focus on further improving reliability, performance, and safety. Our dedicated team is committed to optimizing functionality, streamlining processes, and implementing design improvements to maximize the success of every mission.

We invite you to embark on this exciting journey with us as we explore new frontiers in engineering. The CanSat Launcher V8 embodies our unwavering commitment to excellence and our dedication to inspiring young minds to discover the marvels of space.

Stay tuned for the latest updates on the development of our launcher as we move forward into the future.

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