On July 18th student team DARE from Delft University of Technology will attempt to break the European rocketry altitude record for students, which is currently set at 32.3 km, with the Stratos III rocket. With this the team wants to show the potential of student rocket science and ultimately take the next big step towards being the first student team to launch a rocket to space at 100 km above sea level.

On the 18th of July the launch window opens at 20:00 and closes at 24:00. This will give the team the opportunity to launch under the best conditions possible. In the case that the launch is delayed, for example due to bad weather, several later launch days are available, on the 20th, 24th and 27th. All launch attempts will be streamed live. The rocket will be launched from launch site El Arenosillo of INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) in the south of Spain.

Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE) is one of the largest student rocketry teams in the world and has broken the European student rocketry altitude record in 2015 setting it to 21.5 km. Afterwards, a German team called HyEnD broke the record by going to 32.3 km. Many teams from around the world are now racing to be the first student team that launches a rocket to space which is the ultimate goal of project Stratos.

Stratos III is the largest rocket ever built by DARE. It is over 8 meters tall, of which over 4 meters are taken up by the tank for the oxidizer. This tank is made of a thin aluminum liner wrapped in carbon fiber. The oxidizer in the tank then flows into the most powerful student-built rocket engine in the world, the DHX-400 ‘Nimbus’. The peak thrust of this engine is 25 kN, or 2.5 metric tons. The Nimbus is a hybrid engine, meaning it uses a liquid oxidizer (nitrous oxide) and a solid fuel, a mixture of coffee sweetener, candle wax and aluminum powder.

The engine will accelerate the rocket to a maximum speed of more than 3 times the speed of sound or 3600 km/h. After the engine stops burning the rocket will fly until it reaches the highest point, about 8 minutes into the flight. After apogee, the top of the rocket, containing the payload, electronics, data and recovery system, separates. This part returns to earth using a parachute. After it has fallen into the sea with a parachute, we will go to its location by boat to get it out of the ocean and recover it.

We carry a payload from NLR (Dutch Aerospace Centre). They made a prototype flight computer for SMILE that they want to test on our flight. SMILE is an EU project to design and build a small European satellite launcher. With the immense growth in the amount of small satellites, the EU is seeking to become a player in this market. The payload will be taking measurements during the launch, to develop a better flight computer for SMILE.

Additional info/contact
All up to date information about the launch campaign can be followed via the following channels:
Website: http://dare.tudelft.nl/stratos-iii/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daretudelft/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DARE_TUDelft

Emails and enquiries can be directed to: Weronika Dziarnowska (English), externalrelations -at- dare.tudelft.nl
The launch will be live streamed here: http://dare.tudelft.nl/live-stream/