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Testing student rocket engines for Race to Space competition


This week five university student teams hot-fire tested combustion chambers at Airborne Engineering Ltd as part of the inaugural UK Race to Space competition. AEL have supported the competition from its initial planning stages in 2022, culminating in hot-fire testing in our recently-refurbished J1 test facility.

Students from Sheffield, Southampton, and Leeds universities had designed their own bipropellant rocket engines, fuelled by nitrous oxide and isopropyl alcohol, while students from Kingston and Bath universities designed hybrid rocket engines using nitrous oxide as the oxidiser. All five groups successfuly fired their rockets, gaining valuable performance data that can be used to aid eventual integration into a student-designed flight vehicle.