Lift off!

First successful flight of an all-composite rocket made in Aachen. Congratulations!

Space Team Aachen successfully launched its first high-performance rocket, CARL, at the inter-university competition EuRoC 2020 – European Rocketry Challenge – in Ponte de Sor, Portugal.

CARL consists of a full composite body designed and developed by students from Aachen. With a payload of 2,530 grammes and a top speed of about Mach 0.57 (196 metres per second), CARL reached the targeted flight altitude of 1,960 metres. The entire system was designed, manufactured and launched in less than a year.

All thanks to ITA and SLA

The achievement was made possible by innovative technologies from the two RWTH institutes, the Institute of Structural Mechanics and Lightweight Design (SLA) and the Institute of Textile Technology Aachen (ITA). The rocket body tubes and the rocket tip were produced using the multi-supply filament winding technique. Tailored fibre placement made it possible to produce unique interchangeable fins. What makes them unique is that detachable joints were integrated into the composite material during the manufacturing process.

Thanks to the successfully deployed parachute recovery system, CARL landed on the ground without damage and is now ready for a new challenge. Space Team Aachen plans to participate in the SA Cup 2021 and also to develop hybrid rocket systems in Aachen.