Rocket claims European amateur altitude record

Stratos rocket

Stratos rocket

“The Stratos rocket was succesfully launched today at 11:28 CET from Esrange Space Center reaching an altitude of 12.55 kilometers, thereby breaking the European altitude record for amateur experimental rockets! Esrange Space Center has confirmed the altitude.”

The Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering Team launched the Stratos rocket to an altitude of 12.55 kilometers or 7.79 miles. This is a two stage rocket with a 4 engine cluster in the first stage.

“The first stage uses four clustered solid propellant motors of about one meter height. These motors burn for just 4 seconds. In total these motors provide 640 kg of thrust, enough to lift a small car! After a short coasting phase the main engine will be ignited. The main engine is about 2.20 m long and provides a thrust of 300 kg for 6 seconds.”

Link to site

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6 Responses to Rocket claims European amateur altitude record

  1. R2K says:

    I love this project… I was going to post about it but you beat me!

  2. truthwalker says:

    I don’t comment much, but I always learn something neat here. I have totally off topic question though. With the kind of velocity these first stages do, why don’t amateurs use solid fuel first stage to start a ramjet second stage? The specific thrust improves with speed becoming very high around Mach 3. By the time there was no longer enough oxygen for the ramjet a third solid fuel stage could engage. Are ramjets forbidden by the governing bodies? Or is the the engineering?

  3. rocketry says:

    I would guess it was a combination of things that prevent Ramjet usage. The first that comes to mind is weight. They are heavy. This would not be optimal for small rockets like this. So engineering is a big factor. Secondly they are costly. There is promise in the continuing study of Scramjets however I don’t expect to see usage outside governmental experiments.
    I do recall that the Bomarc missile did use Ramjets. I’m planning a post on the bomarc in the near future.

  4. truthwalker says:

    Ahhh. So what you’re saying is that no one uses them because no one has engineered an mass produced, lightweight, cheap and simple one. (And that those attributes may not be simultaneously possible.) Still, if one was available, do the sports governing bodies, or certain laws forbid such a thing?

  5. Charles M says:

    When I was a college student at Cal Poly (early 1980’s) I knew a guy who built amateur rockets that were powered by gasoline fueled, air breathing ramjets. He had to build them from steel, due to the structural stresses involved, and this made them heavy, which limited the altitude they could reach. He said you could not use aluminum to build a ramjet due to the temperatures reached inside the ram apparatus.

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