What is ZEpHyR?
The acronym ZEpHyR stands for „ZARM Experimental Hybrid Rocket“. This scientific research project takes place at the ZARM (Center Of Applied Space Technology And Microgravity), an institute of the University of Bremen and home of the Drop Tower. The goal of this scientific project is to develop a hybrid rocket motor which utilises liquid oxygen as oxidizer and paraffin (candle wax) as fuel. The advantage of this kind of hybrid rocket motors is that they are environmentally friendly and safer than other rocket motors, which are using hazardous and potentially high-explosive fuels. The successful launch of ZEpHyR 1 in April 2016 from ESRANGE Space Center in North Sweden has proven the proper functionality of the rocket motor and provided important data for further development of the rocket systems. Since then the concept is being enhanced and optimized with the goal of ZEpHyR 2 to be launched in 2020.
A few months before the launch of ZEpHyR 1 the Youtube clip “Kerzenwachs-Rakete” was produced, which explains our research project and the ZEpHyR 1 rocket.
What is the DLR STERN programme?
The STERN Project (Studentische Experimental Raketen) of the German Space Administration (Deutsches Raumfahrtmanagement – DLR), which enables students to design, build and launch sounding rockets. The main goal of this programme is the education of students to prepare them for future employments in the space industry and giving students the opportunity to run through a complete space project cycle with space industries standards. Further information on the DLR Stern programme is available here.
Where is ESRANGE?
ESRANGE is the European Space and Sounding Rocket Range. It is located in the very north of Sweden. The unpopulated and vast area makes rocket launching and recovery much easier. ZEpHyR was launched from there in April 2016. Further information on ESRANGE Space Center is available here.