We reached the airport on time. We could check-in and drop-off our luggage easily, even our Zarges boxes were accepted without any complaints. We had a stopover in Stockholm with one hour on the ground, but the first flight was already delayed by about 25 minutes. Luckily, we were seated in the front of our Boeing 737-700, so we could leave the plane quickly. We rushed to Terminal 4 as fast as it was possible, and we reached our gate just minutes before boarding started. There, we already met other teams as well as employees of ZARM and MORABA. During this flight, we could see the ice-covered surface of the ocean, which was very impressive, and we could also enjoy the beginning of sunset. On our arrival, we were glad that the temperature of -12°C didn’t feel as cold as -5°C do in Germany. In total, the flights worked very well and all our luggage arrived in Kiruna without any damage. We struggled to squeeze our suitcases and the Zarges boxes into our rental car, but we also mastered this challenge. After a little shopping tour at the local supermarket, we were more than happy to enjoy dinner at the restaurant at Esrange Space Center. We then proceeded to enjoy the night together with other participants of the REXUS programme.


Check out the video of our first day!

During the last weeks, we prepared for Launch Campaign. Some spare parts were ordered and prepaired, and procedures for all parts of the campaign were developed. Today, it was time to pack our Equipment for Esrange Space Center. We already started our journey today, as the parents of one of our team members live close to the airport we had to reach early on monday morning.

Today, Michael Bartsch and Anna-Lee Demircian presented VIPER to interested students of the physics class of Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin. The students had a good knowledge about science missions to the outer solar system in the past, including Cassini’s flight to Saturn which is important for our project. To show them what it’s like to plan an experiment for a sounding rocket, we discussed some of the solutions VIPER chose to solve problems that occurred. We also showed them some parts of our hardware. Apart from numerous pictures and graphics, we could show the students the module of a former REXUS project. For some of the students, that seemed to be pretty impressive. After the presentation, there were lots of questions. Not only to the project, but also to the different study paths at FH Aachen UAS.

Thank you to Elena Wüllhorst, who was our contact for Canisius-Kolleg.

On July 23rd, a few of us visited the Space Center Baden-Wüttemberg (RZBW) after we recieved an invitation for the 3rd SpaceUP! Stuttgart. We took the opportunity to present our project to a broad scientific public. Besides that it was great to see other team members and communicate with them about technical challenges and advances. All in all we enjoyed our visit and left Stuttgart with a lot of new impressions of current and upcoming projects/topics.

CDR Conclusion

This week, we had the Critical Design Review (CDR) at the DLR Oberpfaffenhofen. The CDR is used to ensure a steady progress for the REXUS programme, as the teams present their updates, while the experts from DLR, SNSB and ESA review changes and keep an eye on our documentations.

For this Review trip, Leonard Rapp, Fabian Baader, Dennis Keller and Martin Reiswich were available.

We made the trip on sunday, so we could practise the presentation together and also do some late fixes. Monday was presentation day.

After we held our presentation there were a lot of technical questions and remarks about our documentation. We got very positive feedback for some of our subsystems and parts of our Student Experiment Documentation, but also a few things that were not so good. In general we were quite happy about the reactions from the expert team. The rest of the day we had free time, so we explored the nearby lake and had some fun.

On tuesday, an interface discussion had taken place where all teams of the REXUS 23 rocket get info and remarks about the surrounding experiments. For example, we learned that we need a new cable-feed cut out on our bottom bulkhead (the bottom plate that holds most of our experiment), because our current one doesn’t fit with how the experiment beneath us organized their cables. Also on the same day, we had the ask-your-expert-session, where we were able to communicate more intensively with the engineers and experts from the team that reviewed us. Together, we found some solutions and ideas that would make both, team and experts, happy.

A little excerpt, of what we have to do in the meantime:

  • We need to shield the electronics (with casings out of aluminum)
  • The Cupola needs new a new bearing.
  • Do structural analysis (static and frequency)
  • Prepare and execute the first tests with real equipment
  • …and many more

After all the work, we went on a trip with the bus to play beach volleyball together and to have some beer & bavarian food.

Additionally, most of us would meet familiar faces from other REXUS teams, that have been met in the PDR (preliminary design review) and the Selection Workshop before. It’s great to compare your progress and experiences from the time working on your experiments!

Yesterday, on friday, we received a notice that our CDR has passed.

Conclusion: We all agree that the CDR was a success from our team’s perspective. The launch date is getting closer and closer, but is still so far away. Lots of work to do, but with the CDR we have found new optimism to battle our remaining issues and to move on for a great time ahead.

The deadline to upload the newest version of the SED prior to CDR is getting closer. To get a lot of work done, we introduced a new social event called “VIPER night”. Our structure, electronics and science team spent half the night in the CAD laboratory of our university and made a huge step forward to finishing the SED.

Raphael of our Electronics team just installed our 24V Boost Converter with LT3757 from Linaer Technology. The rest of the equipment was placed at our disposal. Thanks to Roboterclub Aachen e.V. (