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Hybrid Rocket Project

Dodge This, Roadrunner! - Help us break the UK Amateur Rocket Altitude Record

  • £1,296

    pledged of £6,000

    • 27


    • 0


Completion Date: Wed 07 Mar 2018

Who are we?

We are the Southampton University Spaceflight Society, a student society for those interested in space and other related fields. Over the years we have undertaken several ambitious projects such as developing a cubesat with the University. Other society projects include: Lander Project, Inertial Measurement Unit, UKSEDS rocket competition, Stabilised Platform,  Lunar Hopper and a Liquid Propellant motor (further information on all of these projects can be found here ).

We also have outreach programs at local schools, getting kids interested in space, science and engineering from an early age. This new project hopes to push the boundaries of our society's achievements and provide further inspiration for future generations of engineers and scientists.

Okay, what exactly is “Dodge this, Roadrunner!”?

"Dodge this, Roadrunner" is an exciting new project in which we are designing and building a hybrid rocket with a thrust of 4000 N, using a solid fuel (Nylon – 6) and liquid oxidizer (Nitrous Oxide).

If successful, the rocket will break the British altitude record for amateur rockets. While the current record is 10,303 m achieved in the year 2000, our rocket will hopefully reach an altitude of approximately 20,000 m, higher than any commercial aircraft can fly. It will carry two on-board cameras (one Earth-facing and the other pointing towards the horizon) to film its record-breaking voyage.

(Preliminary CAD Model of the Rocket)

A Hybrid Rocket is a rocket that works with a solid fuel and a liquid oxidizer (the two key parts of a rocket propellant). In our case we are using Nylon 6 as a fuel and nitrous oxide as an oxidizer. The combustion chamber will be made of stainless steel, the nozzle from graphite and the rest of the body will be carbon fibre, with a small portion replaced with clear plastic to allow a camera to film the rocket’s journey.

How does this help us?

The project allows students to apply what they have learnt to a real life design, not usually possible with large rockets due to their expensive nature. The project also gives students a chance to practice skills that are needed in careers in industry, thus improving their employability.

Where will your money go?

Your money will fund all the parts for the rocket, as well as testing and transporting the completed rocket to and from the launch site. Hitting our minimum funding target will allow us to perform an engine test to assess the engine's performance. But if we hit our maximum target, we will be able to expand on the engine to build a fully working rocket capable of breaking the current altitude record for amateur hybrid rockets. The parts we need are:

  • Parachute and Recovery System
  • Payload and Electronics
  • Camera and Video Equipment
  • Propellant and Oxidiser
  • Nozzle design and manufacturing
  • Combustion chamber
  • Rocket body, fin and casing
  • Engine testing
  • Transport of the rocket to and from the launch site

The University of Southampton have kindly agreed to match fund this project from alumni donations to the Fund for the Greatest Need. This means that for every £1 you donate, the University will double it. Your £10 donation will become a £20 donation, and £50 will become a £100.


  • Jaya Surya Dhayalan - Project Leader
  • Benjamin Irwin - Nozzle Design
  • Umar Khan - Oxidizer Team
  • John Murray - Oxidizer Team
  • Robin Hannaford - Oxidizer Team
  • Hector Hamilton - Payload and Electronic Control
  • Charles Bickel - Fin and Body, Social Media and Networking
  • Fergus McKenzie-Wilson - Fin and Body
  • Franz Rojas Ayala - Social Media and Networking
  • Oliver Green - Parachute and Recovery Systems

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