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TRACE CDR at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen

On the 1st of June 2022 the TRACE team successfully conducted their Critical Design Review (CDR) at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) site in Oberpfaffenhofen. The CDR is an important milestone in aerospace projects after which the experiment design is "frozen", and will thus not be subjected to any more modifications. The team can now move on both manufacturing and testing of the experiment before it is finally ready for flight. The CDR itself consists of three main parts and was conducted in front of a jury made up of experts from different fields, agencies and centers, namely from the DLR, ZARM (Center for Applied Microgravity), MoRaBa (Mobile Rocket Base), SNSA (Swedish Space Agency), SSC (Swedish Space Corporation) and ESA (European Space Agency). First, the Student Experiment Documentation (SED), a document comprising all information regarding the experiment including technical explanations as well as project management, risk analysis, testing, etc. had to be handed in about two weeks before the CDR. This gave the jury time to acquaint themselves with the experiment before the actual event in Oberpfaffenhofen. A presentation of 20 minutes, explaining the technical design of the experiment, was conducted by four engineers and STA members working on TRACE. This presentation was followed by a discussion of 75 minutes, where the jury expresses their opinion on all topics comprised in the SED and presentation. Based on all this information, the jury can form an opinion and decide whether the experiment gets to fly as intended on a REXUS rocket in 2023. TRACE has been given a pass for their CDR, and can thus move forward towards the next milestone! This is incredible news both the TRACE team and for the entire Space Team Aachen, who are now working on getting the experiment ready for the upcoming test campaigns.