Stratos III ready to launch

DARE team will attempt to break the European student rocketry altitude record (32.3 km) with their new rocket Stratos III. The launch will take place in Spain next Friday 20 July.

Stratos III on the launching tower. (Photo: DARE)

Stratos Project’s ultimate goal is to reach the Karman line at 100 km altitude, which represents the boundary between the Earth and space. On Friday 20 July, the Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE) team will take another step towards that goal with the launch of their new rocket Stratos III. 

Around 70 students have been working on Stratos III since the summer of 2016, introducing several innovative components to the previous model, Stratos II+. The new rocket is 8.2 m high and has a diameter of 28 cm. To reduce the mass, most of its structure is now made of carbon fibre, not aluminium. 

The recovery system has been completely redesigned, and the engine has double the power of the previous one. Stratos III works with solid fuel consisting of a mixture of sorbitol, paraffin and aluminium developed in-house by DARE that was also used in Stratos II+. 

The design, production and assembly have taken place at the Dream Hall of TU Delft. The team tried to test as many components of the rocket as possible on the ground, including the recovery system with a test at the Open Jet Facility of TU Delft and a full-scale engine exam.