Stratos III

Stratos III

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/II+ projects to develop Stratos III, which was be designed to go well beyond that boundary. The mission statement was to improve the European student altitude record. The Stratos III rocket was launched on the 26th of July 2018, after which it disintegrated 20 seconds into the flight at an altitude of roughly ten kilometers. More about the failure analysis can be found further in this article.

The Design

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 15kN (20-25kN peak) for a burn time of 28 seconds. As of yet the developed engine, the DHX-400 ‘Nimbus’, is the most powerful student-build hybrid rocket in the world, with an impulse of around 400 kNs. 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.

Failure Analysis

At this moment, a small group of DARE members is working on a forensic analysis together with the Spanish space angency INTA. We hope to share results with you before the end of 2018, which will be published at this website and our social media.


Stratos III was built by a group of Bachelor and Master students at Delft University of Technology. While most come from the study of Aerospace Engineering, almost all faculties of the university were represented in this project.

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