At 11:05 CEST on April 18th the first rocket of two in the STERN – HyEnD N2ORTH campaign was successfully launched from Esrange Space Center. The rocket reached an altitude of 64 km which is a new record for student-built hybrid rockets.
STERN (Studentische Experimental-Raketen) is a program of the German Space Agency, DLR, which offers students who specialize in aerospace engineering at German universities a unique opportunity to realize their projects. Design and various engine tests are an important part of the student projects. All rockets are launched from Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden.
The original timeframe for the project was three years, but the project was extended due to the pandemic and some technical challenges. The project started in October 2019 and the students had been working for four years to develop a hybrid engine with the mission to break the altitude record for student-built hybrid rockets.
“We reached an altitude of over 64 km, which is a new record for student-built hybrid rockets. The previous record of 32 km was set by the HEROS rocket in 2016. We look forward to reviewing all the data and preparing to launch the second rocket, hopefully to an even higher altitude,” says Julian Dobusch, Chief for Hybrid Propulsion at HyEnD.
STERN finances the student projects with funds from the BMWi (Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy). During the STERN program, several German student groups participated with solid, liquid and hybrid rockets which were successfully launched from Esrange.
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Photo © HyEnD