First-ever student-built rocket to launch next year

First student rocket launch Queensland
UQ Space is the largest student rocketry team in Australia. Image: University of Queensland

Students from the University of Queensland (UQ) could become the first to fly a student-built rocket into space next year.

The 90-strong student team, called UQ Space, hopes to set a new world record with the launch of Project Asteria, a rocket that will zoom 100km above sea level, reaching supersonic speeds greater than Mach-5.

The students have developed the project with the support of UQ aerospace engineering experts as well Queensland-based private aerospace company, Black Sky Aerospace.

“We started developing the rocket in 2019, and we are now planning and undertaking static testing and sub-orbital launch preparations before our official launch next year,” explains UQ engineering and arts student Myrthe Snoeks, who is the Managing Director of UQ Space.

“While 2020 has presented some additional challenges to our progress, we haven’t given up – we absolutely intend on achieving this goal with the help of our supporters,” she says.

UQ Space will use the Beyond the Blue Aerospace launch and test facility near Goondiwindi in wester Queensland. Also known as ‘Funny Farm Space’, the launch facility is Australia’s only sub-orbital facility permitted to fly through and above controlled airpace.

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Gemma Chilton

Author: Gemma Chilton

Gemma has a degree in journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney and spent a semester studying environmental journalism in Denmark. She has been writing about science and engineering for over a decade.

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