Cambridge Students with Ambitions to Break Rocket Launch Record

31 October 2023

Members of the Cambridge University Spaceflight Society are currently making preparations to launch a rocket out to the near edge of space.

The objective is for the 10m tall Griffin I rocket, which is scheduled for launch in 2024, to reach an altitude of at least 150km. That will take it beyond the Karman line (which is situated at 100km) and represents the end of Earth's atmosphere and the beginning of outer space. If successful, this venture will break the record for the greatest altitude achieved by an amateur built rocket - which currently stands at 116km (set by the Civilian Space eXploration team in late 2022). The large-scale ‘White Giant’ liquid fuel rocket engine that the Cambridge team are constructing will provide the Griffin I rocket with a 35kN maximum thrust capability during launch.

As Abhijit Pandit, the former Co-President of Cambridge University Spaceflight, who is now a Propulsion Systems Engineer for Thales, explains; “There’s a push in the wider student-space industry to do these bigger projects, and it’s not something that’s really been done by students in the UK before. There are big amateur rocket societies in the UK and in the US - on the student side, we’re aiming to be the best of those.”

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