Our Journey

From humble beginnings and taking small steps, to making progress and flying our first ever major rocket at EUROC. Let’s take a look at ICLR’s journey so far…

A Trip Down Memory Lane...

The team was founded in November 2018 by four students studying Aeronautical Engineering at the Imperial College London. Our primary goal is to educate and train students in all aspects rocketry related and use this knowledge to compete in the European Rocketry Challenge in Portugal and reach space! The team is working hard on the design and construction of a 4.6 m tall rocket that will tackle the challenges through a throttleable N2O-paraffin hybrid engine developed in-house.

Let's go back to the begininning

Since the founding of ICLR, our dedicated team has strived to make better and better rockets. Have a look at how we started and what we have done in the past to reach where we are right now!

November 2018
How it all began...
ICLR Founded

ICLR was founded by four second-year aeronautics student at Imperial College London who strived to enter the Spaceport America Cup with a rocket powered by a SRAD hybrid engine.

March 2019
Our first launch!
A.P.O.G.E.E becomes the first ever ICLR launch

Travelling to an altitude of 870 m with a max velocity upwards of 150 m/s, A.P.O.G.E.E became the first rocket to be designed, built, tested and launched by the ICLR team, taking us a step closer towards the SA cup.

June 2019
Glory to Hybrid engines!
The first test hybrid engine, Pablo, fired by ICLR

Powered by nitrous oxide and paraffin wax, the propulsion team in ICLR hot fired the first generation hybrid engine that was built entirely in house, producing 300 N of thrust with a mass flow rate of 0.5 kg/s. The test was performed to characterise the engine and for the propulsion team to get experienced with making hybrid engines which would allow them to make bigger and better engines!

March 2021
Altitude records, here we come!
Launch of ASTRA MkI

ART launched their first test rocket which marked the start of their effort to break the UK altitude record. It reached a maximum velocity of 100 m/s and an apogee of 550 m. 

June 2021
Testing is fun!
Launch of ASTRA MkII

ART launched their second test rocket which helped improve their design and test important systems which failed on ASTRA MkI. The rocket reached an apogee of 530 m and a maximum velocity of 90 m/s.

July 2021
Cansats are cool too!
Mach 21' CANSAT Competition

The electronics team entered the Mach 21' CANSAT competition where the challenge was to design a satellite that could fit into a contraption roughly the size of a soft drink can. The team came up with a creative landing leg deployment system which led them to win the "Design Award" award at the competition.

October 2021
Eu-Roc-ks!
Launch of Constant Impulse

The ICLR team launched their first competition rocket, Constant Impulse, at the European Rocketry Challenge held in Portugal. Reaching a height of 1.5 km, the rocket became the largest and highest performing rocket built by us. A fault in the recovery system meant that the rocket could not be recovered, but valuable lessons were learnt that would help us in future launches.

April 2022
Glory to our flight engine!
1st HyPNOS Hotfire

Following successful cold flow tests, the propulsion team test fired the flight engine for EuRoC 2022 for the first time. Powered by Nitrous Oxide and Paraffin wax, the engine produced a maximum thrust of 250 N with a run tank pressire of 18 bar. This was a huge learning experience and a successful test as the engine was started and fired without any issues.

June 2022
Flexible solar panels anyone?
Mach 22' CANSAT Competition

The electronics team entered the Mach 22' CANSAT competition with ICARUS. A CANSAT created with the aim of being powered by flexible solar panels attached to the parachute. The team achevied first place in the CANSAT category for their innovative design!

July 2022
Mach diamonds!
2nd & 3rd HyPNOS Hotfire

The propulsion team continued with their flight engine test campaign using lessons learned from the previous hot fire by conducting 2 more hot fire tests where the engine produced a maximum thrust 750 N with a run tank pressure of 32 bar. This further helped solidfy the design of the engine and brought it one step closer to being ready for EuRoC 2022.

July 2022
Record breakers baby!
Launch of APEX

ART launched and recovered APEX which traveled to an altitude of 2845 m and at a velocity which was 1.55 times the speed of sound. They broke the altitude record for L1 rockets in the UK and move on to building bigger and better rockets.

July 2022
Mechanical seperation is the way!
Launch of November Rocket

November Rocket was finally lauched! Repurposed to test a new mechanical seperation system, the new system makes recovering our rockets more reliable and improves on failures from EuRoC 2021. The test was successful which puts the team on track to launching at EuRoC 2022. The rocket reached an apogee of 420 m and a maximum velocity of 90 m/s and was also recovered successfully.

July 2022
Testing ... Testing ... Testing ...
Launch of ASTRA MkIII

ART's latest test rocket was designed to test their new avionics suite and the EuRoC 2022 rocket's avionics, Pickle. Due to unforseen issues, ART's avionics suite didn't work as intended but Pickle worked as intended giving the team a valuable flight test! The rocket reached an apogee of 780 m and a maximum velocity of  m/s and was also recovered successfully.

October 2022
Back in Portugal!
EuRoC 2022

We participated in EuRoC 2022 with our rocket Sporadic Impulse. Although we were unable to launch, we still accomplished big things; winning 2nd Place in the Technical Report category and presenting the UK’s first ever student-developed hybrid engine.  We are hard at work to prepare Sporadic Impulse to launch in the United Kingdom in 2023, while developing our new rocket Nimbus for EuRoC 2023.