Rocket EXperiments for University Students

REXUS, Rocket Experiments for University Students, is a sounding rocket. In 1995, SSC Esrange invited students from the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Kiruna to fly experiments in the sounding rocket GPS-Orion-Rocket which they renamed REXUS. Four more REXUS rockets were launched between 1995 and 2007 when an agreement was signed between DLR and SNSB marking the beginning of the REXUS/BEXUS programme.

Today the programme allows students from Universities and higher education colleges across Europe to carry out scientific and technological experiments (REXUS Projects).

Each year, two REXUS are launched from SSC, Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden.

REXUS provides an experimental near-space platform for students who can work on different research areas including atmospheric research, fluid physics, magnetic field, materials science, radiations physics, astrophysics, biology and also on technology demonstrators.

REXUS is a single-stage rocket propelled by an Improved Orion motor. With a length of 5.6m and a diameter of 0.356m, the rocket can typically hosts a payload mass of up to 95kg (including the service and the recovery modules). This rocket gives approximately 3 minutes of spaceflight and can reach altitudes of between 78 and 93 km. REXUS is flexible, the rocket could be despun and the nosecone ejected during the flight. Moreover all experiments are recovered after the flight.

REXUS Schema

Click on diagram for bigger view.

The REXUS/BEXUS programme is realised under a bilateral Agency Agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB). The Swedish share of the payload has been made available to students from other European countries through a collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA). EuroLaunch, a cooperation between the Esrange Space Center of SSC and the Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) of DLR, is responsible for the campaign management and operations of the launch vehicles. Experts from DLR, SSC, ZARM and ESA provide technical support to the student teams throughout the project. REXUS and BEXUS are launched from SSC, Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden.

Esrange Space Center

Esrange Space Center is located in northern Sweden, 45 km from the town of Kiruna at 67oN, 21oE. Read more…

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