10 years ago, on November 3rd 2010, the TU Wien Space Team was founded by a small group of motivated students. Initiator and first president Fabian Duschel got inspired on a semester abroad at the university INSA Lyon by the resident rocket club CLES-Facil. Mid October about 30 students got together in the “Schrödinger” Cafe near the TU Wien after the first recruitment announcement. After a short presentation a tight core group stayed to discuss further steps. The goal: Developing and building a rocket in-house to participate in the C’Space rocketry competition in France next year.
With virtually no background knowledge in rocket engineering they began to work on the first Space Team Rocket and after almost a full year of designing, planning, prototypes, and a lot of trial and error STR-01 codenamed “Origin” was successfully launched near the Atlantic coast in August 2011.
This successful launch marks the first of so far 10 STR rockets which got constructed since the founding year. Since then the competition in France has been a fixture in the teams calendar and every year without fail a new version of STR has been developed to participate.
In 2014, the team got a huge boost in activity as the members started to work on several other projects next to the experimental STR rockets. In cooperation with FH Wr. Neustadt a CubeSat started development and together with the former PT Scientists the team developed Lunar Lander Mockup for the Google XPRIZE Challenge.
Over the course of the following years, the TU Wien Space Team was able to finance its many projects thanks to important partners and sponsors. Thanks to this and a consistently increasing membership, the team was able to work on an ever-increasing list of projects including CubeSat concepts and “FIRST“, an introductory course into rocketry. The TU Wien Space Team also became Austria’s first launch provider by co-hosting the European CanSat Competition and is now launching student CanSats on a yearly basis.
During all these launches the team has achieved a maximum flight altitude of 13km and a top speed of Mach 2.4, both with the rocket “The Hound“. To reach these ludicrous flight parameters the rocket had to constantly be refined and thoroughly tested. With a total of 15 launches, “The Hound” has become the most flown rocket of the team.
STR Needle on the other hand is the TU Wien Space Team’s smallest and lightest rocket with a diameter of 56mm, a length of 1230mm and a weight of just 1.1kg which enabled it to be the first ever rocket to launch within Austria.
CubeSat PEGASUS, which was developed in cooperation with FH Wiener Neustadt and the Space Tech Group, has by far achieved the highest altitude and furthest travel distance. Equipped with our power supply unit (PSU) and onboard computer (OBC) it is located in Low Earth Orbit since 2016 and is sending telemetry to this day.
Today, 10 years after being founded, we have grown to a respectable size of over 100 members with currently six projects being planned, financed and realized. We also started working together with the TU Wien to promote aerospace engineering classes, recently launching a new project-based specialization module for students of Mechanical Engineering.
Most of our current projects are larger in scope than the founding members in 2010 could have ever deemed possible – but of course we have to thank their tireless work as we would have never come this far without them. A special thanks goes to our loyal partners and sponsors who have put their trust in our continued work and our reliable results. Without them many of our projects would never be able to be realized. Additionally, we want to thank all our past and present members, as well as everyone who was involved in our work in various other circumstances. Thanks to their consistent collective commitment we are able to confidently and proudly present our current visions and goals:
We want to launch a rocket using a liquid rocket engine which is developed and manufactured in-house!
We want to set the European student team altitude record, reach the edge of space at 100km and achieve a breakneck speed of over Mach 5 with the two-staged rocket “The Hound”!
We want our first fully developed CubeSat, SpaceTeamSat1, to join PEGASUS in sending us the live data from Low Earth orbit!
We want to stay a voluntary organization that enables its members to work on fascinating and ambitious aerospace projects!
We want to achieve all those goals, not because they are easy, but because they are fun.