Launch of TU Delft Student Rocket Fails

News - 26 July 2018 - Communication

On Thursday 26 July at 03:30 AM, students from the Delft University of Technology, made an attempt with a home-built rocket (Stratos III) to beat the European altitude record and reach the threshold of space. Twenty seconds after the launch the rocket disintegrated above the safety zone at sea. The team and INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) are currently investigating the anomaly and the cause of the failed attempt.

Safety precautions

Rockets are dangerous vehicles. This is the reason why project Stratos collaborated with a commercial launch site with more than 60 years of experience with experimental aerospace research. Safety is the single most important constraint and, even though the safety zone is very large, it remains very difficult to predict the spread of the debris. Directly after the attempt the team and INTA made sure that the launch was conducted with a safe outcome. 


The team and INTA are investigating the anomaly that occurred during the flight. When more information is available this will be communicated. In addition a review is made of the safety precautions that were taken.

Jesse Hummel, Project Leader Stratos III. “The team has worked on the rocket for two years and is greatly disappointed. Everything has to work in perfect synchronicity during the final countdown and the beginning of the flight. The team has several days to recover and is analysing the data step by step. I am very proud of the team and impressed by how our engineers solved all our last minute problems running up to take-off. This gives me hope for the future.”


Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE) is an advanced amateur rocketry club. It is a group of ambitious students from TU Delft sharing a passion for rocket science. Their dream is to reach space at 100 km altitude. The students design, build and launch rockets that serve a scientific and educational purpose. In 2009 DARE has launched Stratos I reaching an altitude of 12.3 km. With this achievement they set the European altitude record for student/ amateur rocket builders. In 2015, they has launched Stratos II+ and broke their own record by reaching 21.5 km altitude.

More information

Information regarding the launch campaign can be found through the following channels: