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.

Launch Attempt on Monday postponed!

The team has decided to double-check the avionics and improve the interfaces between rocket and launcher before the first launch attempt, which will not be earlier than Tuesday. Stay tuned for more details.

Day 4: Roll-Out of the First N₂ORTH Rocket

Following the final assembly of the nose cone and avionics, we have today reached a major milestone in the launch campaign: The roll-out of the first N2ORTH rocket. This means that the entire rocket is now finally attached to the launch rail and all cables are connected. We also worked on our camera system to film the launch from different angles and prepared the fueling of the intermediate tanks. The rocket has been packed in a polystyrene box to protect it from the cold temperatures in Sweden.

Tomorrow, we plan a test countdown, the flight readiness review and the fueling of the intermediate tanks. The first launch attempt is currently scheduled for Monday morning. Stay tuned for further updates in the coming days.

Day 3: Rocket Integration

After a long day of work, the rail is now ready for launch and equipped with cameras. All the pyrotechnic systems are tested according to the Esrange safety requirements and installed in the rocket components. The first step was to attach the engine igniters, and the injector assembly was mounted to the engine. In parallel, the fluid system was able to assemble its main valve and also install the pyros. These steps were necessary to begin assembly of the rocket. The engine, fin can, oxidizer tank and recovery segment are already connected. The avionics and nose cone will be added tomorrow.

Once the assembly is complete, the rocket will be placed on the rail for an elevation test of the launcher tomorrow. We also plan to start the fueling process of the intermediate tanks tomorrow.

Day 2: Launcher Preparations

Today we continued to prepare for our first launch attempt. We managed to set up our launch rail with the refuelling arm. We also positioned our intermediate tanks next to the launcher and continued with the rest of the setup. This includes connecting to the GSE and checking that all pipes and valves are tight. The fueling cart is already installed and the pressure tests have been successful. At this point, the hardware for the fueling process is organised and ready.

We have also performed a fit check on our rocket components to ensure that the rocket will run smoothly on the launch rail.

All the rocket components are now ready for assembly tomorrow. Having discussed all procedures with the Esrange team, we will also install the pyrotechnic charges required for the engine, main valve and recovery system tomorrow.

Day 1: Arrival and Container Unloading

HyEnD has arrived in Kiruna and we are very excited and motivated to get to work. Our container with all the rocket components and equipment arrived last week. Although the team arrived in the evening, we have already had the opportunity to see the northern lights, reindeer and to celebrate the birthday of one of our team members.

Today started with a meeting with the SSC team at Esrange to plan the activities for the first few days of our launch campaign. We also clarified the procedures for safely preparing and fueling the rockets for launch. Our main task today was to unload the container and check the rocket and equipment components. We also prepared our workspace for the upcoming integration of our rockets.

For the launch of the rocket, we have designed and built a custom launch rail to be mounted on the rocket launcher at Esrange. Today, we started to install the rail on the launcher, which is required for further assembly and alignment of the rocket components.

The container is on its way to Esrange.

On Thursday, March 30th, the container for the launch campaign was loaded onto a truck and is now on its way to Esrange. It will arrive on Wednesday, April 5th. The container carries both rockets as well as ground support equipment and gases. The team will take a plane on Monday, April 10th.

N2ORTH Launch Campaign: Stay up to date

From 11th to 25th April this year, 16 HyEnD team members will visit the European Space and Sounding Rocket Range (Esrange) close to Kiruna, Sweden. And we plan to not bring one – but two N2ORTH rockets with us!

On this blog, we will keep you up to date regarding the launch campaign and the progress we are making. If you want to learn more about the project and the vehicle, take a look here.

Here is the current schedule for the launch campaign. Please note that details of it are still subject to change.

Campaign Schedule as of Sunday, 23rd April:

Monday, 10th AprilArrival of HyEnD Team in Esrange
Tuesday, 11th AprilContainer unloading
Wednesday, 12th AprilLaunch Rail Assembly, Rocket Integration
Thursday, 13th AprilRocket Integration N2ORTH SN1
Friday, 14th AprilRoll-out and Boxing of N2ORTH SN1
Saturday, 15th AprilImprovement of Rocket Launcher Interfaces
Check of Avionics
Start of filling the Intermediate Tanks (GSE)
Sunday, 16th AprilLaunch Preparations
Monday, 17th AprilFlight Readiness Review (FRR)
Test Countdown
Completion of filling the Intermediate Tanks (GSE)
Tuesday, 18th AprilLaunch Attempt N2ORTH SN1 (in the morning)
Wednesday, 19th April
Thursday, 20th AprilComponent Preparation N2ORTH SN2
Friday, 21st AprilRocket Integration N2ORTH SN2
Saturday, 22nd AprilRoll-out N2ORTH SN2, Boxing
Sunday, 23rd AprilBoxing, Refueling of Intermediate Tanks
Monday, 24th AprilLaunch Attempt N2ORTH SN2
Tuesday, 25th AprilContainer loading
Wednesday, 26th AprilArrival of HyEnD Team in Stuttgart