Aquila is a single-stage rocket powered by a commercial solid-fuel engine and is scheduled to compete in the 9 km category at the Spaceport America Cup (SAC) in New Mexico in June 2023. Compared to its successful predecessors CARL I and CARL II, Aquila´s apogee will be three times higher and, for the first time in Space Team Aachen's history, a rocket will break the sound barrier.

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Aquila consists of the nose cone, recovery-, accessible- and engine section. The nose cone consists of a tip made of aluminium and glass fibre, von Karman shaped ogive. The payload is located inside the nose cone. The ejection system and parachutes are part of the recovery section, allowing the rocket to land safely on the ground. The accessible section is an original and completely novel design of Space Team Aachen. The section consists of three removable covers made of fiberglass-reinforced polyamide and three steel rods that allow easy and quick access to the rocket's critical systems, including the engine and recovery electronics. Hence, it eliminates the need to disassemble the rocket to access the electronics and assures that each sub-team can work independently on their system. The engine section is composed of the motor, the fins and the boattail. To achieve the targeted apogee of 9 000 m, a Cesaroni 19318-N3301-P commercial off-the-shelf engine is used. The two fuselage tubes of the recovery and thruster sections are manufactured using a split-mould process with carbon-fibre-reinforced polymers. The four fins are made of fiberglass-reinforced polymers and are attached to the rocket using a designed 3D-printed alignment fixture. To reduce drag and dissipate the experienced forces when the rocket touches down, the boattail is made of aluminium.

Mission Objectives

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Reach 9 km apogee,

tripling the apogee of CARL II


Break the sound barrier and gain experience in supersonic conditions

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 Compete in the Spaceport America Cup (SAC) 2023

Project Specifications

  • Target altitude: 9000 m

  • Propulsion: COTS Solid Fuel Motor 

  • Thrust: 3294,3 N

  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.95 (1164 km/h)

  • Peak speed: 629 m/s 

  • Payload: 360° field of view camera system and experiments

  • Recovery: Redundant dual-event parachute system


Project Phases Overview

Our Support

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