Watch the Record Flight Video!

64 km altitude – A new world record for student-built hybrid rockets and for European student-built rockets in general! We are very happy and proud that we have almost doubled the existing record that we set with our HEROS 3 rocket in 2016. This achievement is the result of almost four years of hard work and dedication by our team. With N2ORTH, HyEnD has shown what students can achieve when they work together towards an ambitious goal. We are grateful for the support we received along the way – especially the funding from the DLR STERN program. Without it, this project would not have been possible. We hope you enjoy the videos of the record flight as much as we do. Stay tuned for more footage, including the full on-board videos, in the coming weeks and months.

Day 14: Launch Attempt 2

Yesterday, the 24th of April at 14:10 CEST, we had a successful launch of our second N₂ORTH rocket from Esrange. Unfortunately, the rocket encountered an anomaly which led to a break-up after 20 seconds. Thanks to the telemetry data and the tracking of the rocket, we have a good idea where the rocket components are located, but a recovery has not yet been possible. In consultation with the SSC, we will continue to look for additional ways to complete the recovery to add data to our post-flight analysis.

Despite this unfortunate event, the campaign has been a great success. Thanks to DLR’s STERN program, we were able to design and build two rockets and their associated systems. We also successfully launched both N2ORTH rockets from Esrange, setting a new student hybrid rocket record and doubling the altitude. We have built such a powerful rocket that we have pushed the limits of the student program, and we are proud of it. Now it is time to pack up and organize the transport back to Stuttgart. In the future we will analyze the flights to get a deeper understanding of the performance of the rockets.

Thanks to all the support and help especially from DLR and SSC.

Launch Attempt of 2nd Rocket on Monday!

We are proud to announce that we are planning to launch our second N₂ORTH rocket tomorrow, Monday! With this launch, we hope to reach an altitude of more than 100 km and thus the frontier of space.

What is the difference between the two launches?

Since N₂ORTH is a new launch vehicle, we need to make sure it performs as expected. That is why we limited the oxidizer mass and launcher elevation for the first launch. Since the first launch showed a high agreement between the simulated and real trajectory, we are now allowed to increase the oxidizer mass and launcher elevation for the second launch attempt.

Are both rockets identical?

Both N₂ORTH rockets feature the same component design with one exception: The first N₂ORTH rocket features an oxidizer tank with an aluminum liner. The oxidizer tank of the second N₂ORTH rocket is a liner-less Type V pressure vessel with a ETFE coating on the inside to ensure compatibility with nitrous oxide. This reduces the rocket mass by 7.7 kg. Originally, it was the plan to have two rockets with liner-less tanks, but that was not possible due to delays in the supply chain.

1st N₂ORTH Rocket2nd N₂ORTH Rocket
Dry Mass76.9 kg69.2 kg
Fuel Mass25.8 kg25.8 kg
Oxidizer Mass95 kg≈ 105 kg (TBD)
Launcher Elevation81.4°≈ 83° (TBD)

How can I watch the launch?

The launch will take place no earlier than 12:00 CEST / UTC+2. The Swedish Space Corporation SSC will provide a livestream on their YouTube channel. We will keep you updated on the launch via our website and social media in the following days.

Day 12: Roll-Out of the 2nd N₂ORTH Rocket

After the assembly of the recovery section, parachutes and avionics today we have finalized the integration of the second N2ORTH rocket. Compared to the first N2ORTH rocket launched last week, the second rocket features a lightweight, liner-less Type V oxidizer tank. This results in a dry mass of only 69.2 kg. The rocket was mounted on the launcher, and we started to assemble the styrofoam boxing of the rocket to protect it from the low environmental temperatures. We are looking forward to our next launch attempt, which will hopefully be on Monday.  

Day 11: Preparing the 2nd Rocket

After a more than successful launch and a day off, we continue with the preparations for the 2nd N2ORTH launch. Yesterday we started analyzing the first launch and investigating the problem in the recovery sequence. The on-board video was analyzed frame by frame and we took a first look at the on-board avionics data. At the same time, we prepared the launcher for the next mission and started assembling the next rocket.

Today, we continued with the assembly of the second rocket. The only things remaining are the recovery and avionics. If we finish the assembly by tomorrow, we can proceed with the second roll out. We currently plan to start the refueling of the intermediate tanks on Sunday and target Monday for the next launch attempt if the weather conditions will be suitable.

Mission Success: New Record for Student-built Hybrids

On Tuesday 18th April 2023 at 11:05 local time, HyEnD successfully launched its first N2ORTH rocket from the European Space and Sounding Rocket Range ESRANGE in Sweden.

The countdown started at 06:15 and went very smoothly. There was a short hold to finish filling the nitrous oxide from the intermediate tanks to the rocket tank, but otherwise there were no delays. With a final oxidizer mass of 95 kg and a launch elevation of 81°, the rocket reached an altitude of more than 64 km after about 2 minutes. This almost doubled the previous altitude record for student-built hybrids. The altitude was measured by GPS and the data will be released in the coming days and weeks.

The drogue parachute was successfully deployed and inflated shortly after reaching apogee. However, there were some issues with the recovery sequence that need to be investigated. This resulted in an increased landing speed and some damage to structural components, but the team was able to recover the entire rocket by helicopter.

The team is currently analyzing the data and preparing for the launch of the second N2ORTH rocket early next week. Depending on the weather situation and the results of the investigation, the oxidizer load and launcher elevation will be increased to reach an even higher altitude.

HyEnD would like to take this opportunity to thank the managers and reviewers of the DLR STERN programme as well as the launch and operations crew at ESRANGE. Their support is greatly appreciated, and we are very happy to be working together.

Day 7: Ready for Launch!

We are happy to announce that today we have passed the test countdown, the flight readiness review and finalized the fueling of the intermediate tanks. This means that we are ready for our first launch attempt for tomorrow. The weather is also looking very good. The countdown is scheduled to start at 6:15am (UTC+2), which means that the launch attempt will be at 10:45am (UTC+2) without any additional holds. If you want to follow the launch, you can watch a livestream on the Swedish Space Corporation’s YouTube channel:

We will also post a link to the livestream as soon as it is available. Stay tuned for more!

Day 6: Preparing for Launch

As announced yesterday, we completed the avionics check today. We were then able to mount the avionics back to the nose cone. Preparations for our second rocket have also continued. For example, the second main valve was already assembled today. The improvements to the interface between the rocket and the launcher have also been completed. Tomorrow, the fueling of the intermediate tanks will finally be completed. With this step, the first N2ORTH rocket including all the required systems is ready for launch. Furthermore, there will be an update tomorrow regarding the weather conditions that are expected on the launch day. This will allow a better definition of the launch conditions.

Day 5: Avionics Check and Fueling

Following the decision to postpone the launch attempt on Monday, today began with a meeting to re-plan the next few days of the campaign and decide what steps need to be taken. 

We double-checked the functionality of the avionics and improved the interfaces between the rocket and the launcher. We then returned the rocket to the integration hall to continue testing the avionics. Meanwhile, we began preparing the second N2ORTH rocket for integration and conducted a test burn with an igniter pill. In the afternoon we transferred over 100 kg of nitrous oxide to the intermediate tanks. Our plan for the next few days is to get the rocket ready for the upcoming rollout, and then do a test countdown and final tank fueling on Monday. This means that the earliest launch attempt will be on Tuesday.