The REXUS program is a European research program for university students. The program is a collaboration of the DLR (German Aerospace Center) and the SNSB (Swedish National Space Board). Because the SNSB cooperates with the ESA (European Space Agency) for this program, students from all ESA member states can participate in the program.


BEXUS balloon und REXUS rocket (Source: DLR)

The used sounding rocket is an unguided spin-stabilized rocket of type Improved Orion (see figure 1).


Figure 1: Sounding rocket of type Imp. Orion (Source: REXUS-BEXUS)

The missile rises to a height of about 82 km and can carry a payload of up to 95 kilograms. The flight in the microgravity environment (almost weightless) lasts for about two minutes which is the available time frame for the experiment. After the flight, the rocket falls back on the surface by a parachute.

REXUS 20, Flight data

Graphs of the altitude and the effective acceleration.

There are fixed external conditions for the construction design of the experiment. The experiment must be able to be realized on a round surface (31 cm diameter) with a maximum height of 30 cm. However, the weight of the experiment should be kept as light as possible, because this would have several advantages for the flight.

The student teams are required to submit a so-called Student Experiment Documentation (SED) at five fixed times. On the basis of this SED, the experiment design and the project’s progress will be evaluated by the expert committee of the organizers.