DLR and PLD successfully completed hot firing tests


In hot firing tests in September 2018, a research team led by DLR subjected a reusable rocket engine to an initial test run. It successfully completed a total of 18 tests at the high-pressure test bench of Spanish project partner PLD Space, with a firing time of up to 45 seconds, thereby showing very high combustion efficiency of over 90 percent. Liquid oxygen (LOx) and kerosene were used in the tests. The rocket engine, developed

Successful first launch of hybrid engine by Nammo


On Thursday 27 September Nammo successfully completed the first launch of Nucleus, a sounding rocket powered by its new hybrid rocket motor. Nucleus launched at 14:16: local time from Andøya Space Center in Northern Norway, and reached an altitude of 107.4 km. That made it not only the first rocket powered by a Norwegian motor design to cross the Karman line, the commonly recognized border to space, but also the first European hybrid rocket motor

Successful final engine test by Nammo


On July 5, 2018, Nammo conducted a final, successful ground test of the Nucleus rocket flight propulsion system, at the Nammo Raufoss Test Center. The groundbreaking hybrid rocket technology is now ready to power the first launch of a Norwegian-built space rocket in September 2018. All the components of the rocket were tested together on site – meaning that the team was able to get feedback on a complete, working rocket system. The motor was

Sensitive NLR-developed electronics for Stratos III rocket survives vibration


The beginning of June, a so-called ‘avionics box’ developed by the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) for the Stratos III rocket was successfully subjected to an important vibration test. The NLR researchers applied forces that correspond to those occurring during the actual launch. The nose cone, the on-board computer and the avionics box successfully withstood the vibration test, marking the completion of a key phase in the development of the Stratos III rocket, which is designed

Hybrid engine test by Nammo


Nammo is close to completing a rocket engine that will make green space propulsion a reality. Nammo’s hybrid rocket works by having the oxidizer separate from the solid fuel, and it is able to regulate its power by simply regulating the flow of the oxidizer. If necessary, it can even be turned off completely before re-igniting. The main benefit, however, is that only one fluid needs to be regulated, which makes the rocket far more

Reusable liquid rocket engine test by DLR


DLR’s Institute of Structures and Design is responsible for developing a reusable liquid rocket engine. The design is thereby based on ceramic engine components which are specifically qualified due to their high thermal shock resistance and high-temperature applicability.  Thus, innovative design methods become possible allowing such systems to be reused. Furthermore, advanced manufacturing technologies are used for the highly complex injector head component designed by DLR. Partner 3D Systems printed the prototype injector for LOX/kerosene

Prime Minister Mark Rutte

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte visits the SMILE Project


On October the 5th 2016 the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was invited by NLR. The Prime Minister was informed on the current status of the SMILE Project. Mister Arnoud van Kleef gave an overview on the current design of the new innovative launcher for Europe. Prime Minister Mark Rutte

Announcement of the SMILE launcher at the European Space Solutions Conference


By Collin Beers, division manager of Aerospace Vehicles of NLR, Prof. Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the DLR Executive Board and Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Member of European Parliament and co-rapporteur Space. kickoff

Start of design for concept SMall Innovative Launcher for Europe (SMILE)


SMILE_logo_finalSmall satellites launcher targets independent access to space for Europe

The Hague, 31 May 2016 – The ‘Small Innovative Launcher for Europe’ (SMILE), a European Union Horizon 2020 project, was officially launched by Mrs Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Member of European Parliament and co-rapporteur Space, and Mr Collin Beers, division manager of Aerospace Vehicles of NLR-Netherlands Aerospace Centre, at the European Space Solutions conference in The Hague.  The objectives of the SMILE project are to design