Launch Campaign

On Monday, the 6th March 2017 early in the morning, the RaCoS team travelled to Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden, which is located next to the city Kiruna. The first week was planned for unpacking the equipment and preparing the experiment for final communication tests. These tests went very well for REXUS 22, so we had some spare time, in which we went cross-country skiing through the wonderful snowy landscape or generally just enjoy the beautiful view.
After the first week, on Sunday, some of our team visited the national park Abisko, an astonishing landmark of northern Sweden known for its famous mountain formations.

Wonderful view

In the evening, all teams spent their spare time together. We had the possibility to drive snowmobiles over a frozen lake and through the woods. After all the exhilarating driving, we relaxed at the campfire and had some hot dogs, before we topped things of with driving dog sleds.
On Wednesday REXUS 21 launched successfully after one cancelled launch the day before, caused by bad weather conditions. Our whole team watched the spectacle from the radar hill. Thereafter the REXUS 22 rocket had its roll out, which means that the fully assembled sounding rocket was rolled out of the building “The Church”, where all teams worked on their experiments the days before. Then it was horizontally attached to the launcher.

Roll-Out of REXUS 22

Thursday morning we had our own test countdown, in which two of us had to refill the pressure tank in a “late access”. Luckily no teams had problems during test countdown, so we concluded our final milestone, the “Flight Readiness Review” without problems.
Because of the good weather conditions, it was decided to start the countdown shortly afterwards. Three members of RaCoS were in the Science Center to command and operate the Ground Station, while the other two went to the radar hill from where they had a great view of the lift-off. The rocket launched right on time, with no delays in the countdown and our system performed as expected during flight.
Later on, the payload was recovered by helicopter and we got our experiment back the same day for further data analysis.

With the team

On our last day, we had to pack everything and prepare for departure. In the afternoon, first results of all experiments from REXUS 21 and 22 were presented.
The Campaign Dinner in the evening was a marvelous event to finish our two weeks at Esrange Space Center.

Check out some more pictures in the gallery in the Launch Campaign section!