On Saturday, March 4, 2023, Tokai University’s student rocket project successfully conducted a rocket launch experiment. This project has been conducted in Taiki Town since 2004, but due to the effects of the new coronavirus infection, it has been five years since the last experiment. The vehicle, which had been strengthened since the last time, was successfully launched and demonstrated the technology for future space exploration and supersonic flight. The students were also able to gain launch experience.
■ Experiment Overview
Date of experiment : March 4, 2023 (Saturday)
Experiment site : Farm road in Bisei, Taiki town, Hokkaido
To gain experience in rocket launch and to clarify the development policy for the next vehicle and beyond, with the ultimate goal of reaching an altitude of 100 km or higher in space. To conduct a technical demonstration that will lead to a supersonic aircraft in a few years by ensuring a successful launch and post-retrieval analysis of the rocket.
Since the nose cone at the tip of the rocket fell off during the 2016 launch and the vehicle disintegrated in mid-air, the mechanism to separate the nose cone was improved to increase its strength.
The engine burned as planned, reaching an altitude of 416.45 m at 9.32 seconds after launch. The parachute was opened, the aircraft dropped to a point 440 m north-northeast of the launch pad, and the fuselage was recovered.
■ Outline of Launch Vehicle
Name: Hybrid Launch Vehicle No. 57
Body ：Modular structure consisting mainly of commercially available GFRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic) tubes. Six modules are connected by aluminum alloy rings.
Engine ：Solid wax fuel. Oxidizer is liquefied nitrous oxide. Thrust 660N (67.3kgf)
Dry weight ：10.725kg
Weight including oxidizer ：11kg
The Taiki town, Hokkaido Spaceport, and SPACE COTAN will continue to support students, companies, and organizations in their challenges and research and development.