Rocket science is beginning to become more common ground.
A group of students from the TU Delft University have broken the altitude record for an amateur built rocket. The Stratos II+ rocket has reached a maximum altitude of 21457 meters. Never before has a rocket built by European students reached such an altitude. The previous record of 12.5 kilometers has been set in 2009, also by the TU Delft University.
The rocket was launched Friday in the southwest of Spain. It was initially supposed to reach 50 kilometers, but did not manage that.
After 0.85 seconds after launch the rocket had already reached a speed of 100 kilometers per hour. The top speed was 2545 km/h, twice the speed of sound. It took about a minute and a half to reach apogee.
Afterwards the rocket returned back to earth on a parachute and dropped into the Atlantic Ocean more than ten minutes after launch.
The seven-meter-long rocket used a fuel mixture of sorbitol (sweetener) and paraffin (wax) for propulsion.
The students had tried to launch twice on Thursday, but failed. First due to weather conditions then due to a ignition failure caused by a faulty valve.
It is not sure though for how long the students will be able to enjoy their record as more student teams are in the race. Next week a team from Stuttgart is attempting to launch a rocket to an altitude of 30 kilometers. In a few years from now the students from TU Delft will try to really enter space, which means to pass the altitude mark of 100 kilometers.
For more information on the project you can visit their website at: http://dare.tudelft.nl