Members of our team at EuRoC 2023

Our year 2023

In time for the new year, we want to take a look back at the year past. We have learned so much and grown beyond ourselves. We were able to celebrate many successes, the small ones as well as some bigger ones. We made incredible progress in all teams, gained new experiences and have now reached a new and exciting point in our association’s work.

But let’s take a look at everything from January 2023 on:

At the beginning of the year, we organized our first networking event in cooperation with Starthaus Bremen & Bremerhaven – and it was a complete success. We received so much positive feedback that we are now organizing this type of an event on a regular basis. 

In the meantime, our technical teams have finalized many manufacturing and production processes and completed some important rocket parts. For example, the Structure team produced the final CFRP-reinforced tank. And our Aerodynamics team simulated the trajectory and designed our fins. 

From April 2023, the major test phase of our rocket subsystems began. We carried out the first Hotfire test in the DLR institute of Space Propulsion at Lampoldshausen. We tested the propulsion of our rocket and the load capacity of our tank. 

Meanwhile, the recovery team tested our parachute at the wind tunnel test facility of TU Delft, Netherlands. There, the parachute and the ejection system were tested in a wind tunnel at a maximum speed of 100 km/h for stability and tear resistance. We were also able to celebrate our first major success of the year there: our parachute works! 

Of course, our avionics team was also involved in all these and other tests. They constantly developed the flight computer further and put the individual parts together.

In the summer, we then set off for a second hot-fire test, again at the DLR in Lampoldshausen. There we experienced another great success: we had a successful blowdown with 10s thrust with an average of 2.2 kN. Our tank also withstood a pressure of 90 bar.

On top of all these successes, we had the great opportunity to travel Portugal to take part in the annual EuRoC rocket competition. Although we were, unfortunately, unable to launch our rocket there, we were able to gain many insights into the work of other teams, receive professional feedback on our design, and see other rockets being launched. 

We are especially happy about the amazing report in Buten un Binnen that shows our attendance at EuRoC and presents our association in a vivid and authentic way. We would like to thank Anna-Lena Borchert once again for this wonderful opportunity! 

Back in Germany, we kicked off our next networking event in cooperation with Starthaus Bremen & Bremerhaven, this time focusing on sustainability in space. We were delighted to welcome guests such as Holger Oelze (CEO ZARM Technik AG), Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michal Kucera (University Bremen) and Siegfried Monser (Space Co-Ordinater Bremen). The discussions and exchanges with people from business, science, politics and society were incredibly enriching. 

Towards the end of the year we started designing our new rocket. We want to launch this at EuRoC 2024. We have incorporated the feedback and other requirements and are now implementing this in our new designs. 

We were also able to attend the Space Tech Expo in Bremen for the third time in a row and share our enthusiasm for space with people from all over the world. 

At the end of the year, we said farewell to our old executive board and re-elected them. We would like to thank our former board for their supportive work over the past year and wish the members who are leaving us all the best! We are very grateful to welcome two new, extremely committed members to the board and look forward to your ideas and suggestions! 

We would also like to thank our sponsors very much. Without your material, informational, and financial support we would not have been able to do any of this!

We are incredibly excited about the year 2024 ahead of us, to all the challenges we will overcome and all the successes we will celebrate. See you in one year! 

Our network event at DHI in collaboration with Starthaus.

Successful start – three Bremen initiatives create meeting space for space enthusiasts

The organizers counted around 65 participants at the first matchmaking event for aerospace, which took place last Thursday at the Digital Hub Industry (DHI) in Bremen. With this, the organizers – the Starthaus Bremen and the DHI in cooperation with ASTRA e.V. – have already achieved two of their three goals. At the first meeting of this kind, not only were local companies, associations and groups related to space travel able to present themselves. There was also a lively exchange and professional discussions. 

Bremen is one of the top locations for aerospace in Europe. With more than 140 companies and 20 institutes in and around Bremen, the region is an important innovative location for space technologies. It is therefore no surprise that Bremen is also one of the few locations in Germany where young people can study space technology with a variety of specializations. This broad offering is a particular advantage of the location, but also brings with it some challenges.

So far, there are hardly any places where young scientists* from the engineering-technological field can have a professional and interdisciplinary exchange. Yet the young professionals are also looking for precisely such connections with each other and interdisciplinarily with other fields such as law, economics, logistics or biology. Because they want to combine innovation and sustainability. Having a space to develop prototype rockets, launchers, mini-satellites or other technologies themselves would be another big plus for Bremen as a location for the international community. It is precisely this kind of networked work, coupled with dedicated minds, that is urgently needed by the growing space industry.

In order to establish this link, we at ASTRA e.V. organized a matchmaking event in cooperation with the Starthaus Bremen & Bremerhaven and the Digital Hub Industry (DHI). First, the Starthaus and we introduced ourselves. This was followed by three different young start-ups from Bremen: Women in Aerospace, Astrait and Iorbit showed the whole breadth of what aerospace encompasses in their presentations. Well-known faces from industry and business also contributed. For example, guests included Holger Oelze (Managing Director of ZARM Technik AG) and Janusz Heitmann (DLR). Prof. Dr. Antonia Garcia from Bremens University of Applied Sciences emphasized the importance of such a bridge between young talent and companies or research. It was not just a matter of following lectures, but of getting to know each other in an open setting, exchanging ideas and developing ideas together. 

After the stage program, there was time for discussion and lively exchange. In the process, we were able to make important contacts and find supporters. All in all, the event was a complete success with more than 60 active participants. Our conclusion is very unanimous: “This is exactly what we need. We’ll definitely repeat it.”