The Rocket & Balloon Experiments for University Students, or REXUS/BEXUS, programme allows students from universities and higher education colleges across Europe to carry out scientific and technological experiments on research rockets and balloons. Each year, two rockets and two balloons are launched, carrying up to 20 experiments designed and built by student teams.
• REXUS experiments are launched on an unguided, spin-stabilised rocket powered by an Improved Orion Motor with 290kg of solid propellant. It is capable of taking 40kg of student experiment modules to an altitude of approximately 90km. The vehicle has a length of approx. 5.6m and a body diameter of 35.6cm.
• BEXUS experiments are lifted by a balloon with a volume of 12 000m³ to a maximum altitude of 30km, depending on total experiment mass (40-100kg). The flight duration is 2-5 hours.
The REXUS/BEXUS programme is realised under a bilateral Agency Agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB). The Swedish share of the payload has been made available to students from other European countries through a collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA).
EuroLaunch, a cooperation between the Esrange Space Center of SSC and the Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) of DLR, is responsible for the campaign management and operations of the launch vehicles. Experts from DLR, SSC, ZARM and ESA provide technical support to the student teams throughout the project.
REXUS and BEXUS are launched from SSC, Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden.
Information obtained from www.rexusbexus.net. Visit the site for additional information on the REXUS/BEXUS programmes.
WUSAT-SOLSPEC REXUS experiment
The Engineering WUSAT team collaborated with the University of Warwick Physics department to create the solar spectroscopy payload to go within the CubeSat project that has been ongoing within the Engineering department since 2012. This integrated experiment, called WUSAT-SOLSPEC, was submitted for a potential place on a REXUS rocket flight.
Following a successful presentation to the REXUS panel at the Selection Workshop at ESTEC, Netherlands in December 2013 the WUSAT-SOLSPEC experiment was selected to proceed with the REXUS process to a Preliminary Design Review (PDR), which if passed would grant the experiment a place on the flight of REXUS 17/18 in March/April 2015. Further information can be seen here.
The team attended the Student Training Week at ESRANGE, Sweden in March 2014 where the PDR took place. The experiment was given a conditional pass, dependant on several changes and considerations being made to the experiment plan.