Students launches rocket that reaches altitude of over 70,000 feet

Students launch a home-made rocket that reaches 70,500 ft (21457 m) in the air.

MAZAGAON, ANDALUSIA, SPAIN (OCTOBER 16, 2015) (DELFT AEROSPACE ROCKET ENGINEERING, TU DELFT) – The rocket named “Stratos II+” built by a team of students from the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) was launched on Friday (October 16) from El Arenosillo, the launch base of INTA in Mazagon, Andalusia in Spain in attempt to beat what the university described as the unofficial European altitude record for the amateur built rockets.

The attempt was successful with the rocket reaching 21457 meters (70 500 feet) high, beating the previous European record of 12500 m (41 010 ft) set by the rocket’s predecessor, Stratos I in 2009.

The rocket was built entirely by the students including the largest student-build ‘hybrid’ rocket engine, a cross between a solid-fuel and a liquid-fuel rocket.

A Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering representative said, “The fuel core consists of a mixture of aluminium powder, candle wax and sorbitol (also used as a sweetener), through which nitrous oxide is blown under high pressure.”

Previous attempts with a rocket called “Stratos II” were unsuccessful, so the design for “Stratos II+” was drastically altered as a result.

It took 4 years and 40 people to design and build the rockets “Stratos II” and “Stratos II+” . To ensure safe flight and landing there were over half million launch simulations performed and on the day of the launch airspace around the launch base was closed.

The rocket capsule contained electronic equipment that is going to be used to conduct a set of experiments, including measuring how far radio waves from space penetrate into Earth’s atmosphere, measuring a position without a GPS and live broadcasting from the rocket.