RAPID – Rocket

Lead: Jonas Klein und Manuel Schlüsener

The Rapid Team (Rocketry and Propulsion in Darmstadt) has set the goal of developing, building, and operating its own sounding rockets.

The focus is on deepening the theoretical knowledge that is taught in lectures at the TU Darmstadt and expanding it to include a practical component. The complex overall system „rocket“ is not only ideally suited to imparting content to our members, but also the indispensable cooperation in an interdisciplinary team. Ultimately, the team aims to break the European height record of student rocketry.

Currently we are an interdisciplinary team of around 25 motivated active members working on the projects. Our general weekly meetings take place every Tuesday at 16:00 at campus Lichtwiese. Everyone who is interested or wants to become part of our team is very welcome to join. You will find further information and meeting updates on our Discord Server.

Current Rocket Developement:

The Fantastic rocket of Darmstadt Origin FRoDO is our newest rocket generation. Our goal with the FRoDO rockets is to take part at international student rocketry competitions such as the European Rocketry Challenge (EuRoC). At EuRoC, which is promoted and organized by the Portuguese Space Agency, the competing student teams launch their rockets to heights between 3000 m and 9000 m.

The FRoDO rockets use solid propellant rocket motors and are designed to carry several payloads such as CanSats. The first demo rocket of this generation – FRoDO-H – did two successful flights to 400 m in end of 2022.

The FRoDO-J rocket was launched to a height of 983 m in September 2023. In addition to a more sophisticated dual stage recovery system and updated avionics, this rocket was able to carry 3 CanSat payloads to the apogee. Furthermore, the materials and the manufacturing methods used were improved to withstand the increased loads during flight and landing.

Next, our goal is the development of a new rocket in the FRoDO family, which will be able to launch to 3000m and which fulfills all the requirements set by the European Rocketry Challenge that will take place in October 2024. We will use the experience from our past launches to improve the overall rocket concept even more. In addition to some upgrades to our recovery, we will set a great focus on collecting valuable sensor data from several subsystems of the rocket. Besides all general sensor data from our flight computer like barometer, gps and acceleration, we also want to further analyze structural and aerodynamic behaviors during our tests and flight.

We are still looking for motivated students of all disciplines and semesters to join us on our mission! No prior knowledge is required and we always have interesting tasks for everyone. For more details, check out our subsections and projects below.

Long term project:

The long term goal of the rocket team is the developement of an experimental rocket powered by a specifically developed liquid propellant rocket engine. The propellants used are ethanol and nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. These represent a suitable compromise between performance and easy and safe handling. The engine is designed to develop a thrust of 2 kN at a combustion chamber pressure of 21 bar. Thus, the composite tanks are required to withstand an internal pressure of about 40 bar and an oxidant temperature of -70 °C. The Propulsion Subsection is currently working on the engine developement for that rocket.


Then just drop by one of our meetings without obligation. Our weekly project meeting takes place every Tuesday at 16:00 in our workshop or on our Discord server. If you have any questions, please contact our sectionleads Jonas or Manu via rocket@tudsat.space or Discord.