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 booth at STE 2023

Space Tech Expo 2023

There is a saying in Bremen: “Drei Mal ist Bremer Recht” (translated: Three times is Bremen law). In line with this, we had the opportunity, and seemingly the Bremen social responsibility, to exhibit at the Space Tech Expo for the third time this year. In recent years, we have been able to make an incredible number of contacts, gain experience and exchange ideas with experts. This time of the year we get to meet many of our collaborators, partners, sponsors and fellow rocketeers. The knowledge exchange we have is an unparalleled experience thereby making it one of the most exciting events of the year for ASTRA e.V to look forward to. A huge shoutout to Gordon McHattie for his constant support for our presence at the Expo each year!

So, we set up our booth again this year and took part in Europe’s biggest aerospace trade fair. With more than 7,500 visitors, we were able to spend three days in a row talking, gathering ideas and sharing our enthusiasm for space. This year was very special for us: We were able to exhibit the rocket we built for the first time! Explaining our design, the function and the construction of individual parts was much easier as our assembled rocket was displayed in the booth itself. At the same time, we were able to get direct feedback from colleagues, managers, engineers, scientists and many more. This is, of course, super valuable and constructive for us. As we are currently working on a design for our new rocket, Karma 2.0, having this feedback gives us the opportunity to receive and implement suggestions, ideas and criticism directly.

In addition to lots of ideas and incredibly great conversations, the Space Tech Expo means one thing: lots of fun! Of course, we also enjoy walking around and looking at innovative exhibitors, testing out fun offers or listening to exciting talks. After all, that’s what brings us all together at Space Tech Expo: endless interest and enthusiasm for space!


ASTRA e.V. at Space Tech Expo 2022

The biggest exhibition for the space industry of Europe “SpaceTechExpo” took place in Bremen again in November 2022 and ASTRA e.V. got to be one of the exhibitors!
Every year this expo attracts exhibitors from the big players to small startups of the space industry who would like to present their ideas to an interested audience. This year was a special for members of space related student groups, because there was a group of booths at the SpaceTechExpo just for us!

Preparation for this event went smoother, because we already participated in 2021 and learned a lot from this. It was especially exciting displaying all of our new hardware protypes we were able to build in the last year. For the first time we had most of the final rocket parts to show to the public and this not only helped us getting more attention from curious persons, but also we got feedback and suggestions from some professionals or colleagues from other student groups.
Directly next to our booth there was the Dutch student group DARE and the Swiss student group ARIS as well presenting their projects. Talking with everybody at the SpaceTechExpo in person with the hardware directly next to us turned out to be very valuable! This lead to new testing opportunities e.g. for the drop test we got support from KST regarding this and from DARE with their wind tunnel.

In the end these three days were tightly packed for us at ASTRA e.V. with booth duty, B2B meetings and talking to other people at their booth. But it was absolutely worth the efforts!