Corona and the impact on KSat projects

Corona and the impact on KSat projects

The corona virus currently leads to massive restrictions in public life in Germany and Europe. The University of Stuttgart will close down almost completely until 20 April 2020, which will delay some of our projects, which we summarize below.

This article will be updated if there are further changes.

Update 2020-03-19: Currently all meetings of clubs are prohibited in Germany. We are taking the opportunity to expand our server infrastructure with voice chat and other teleworking services.


Our rover mission was to be launched in March on board a REXUS rocket. The launch was postponed indefinitely in order to ensure satellite operation at the launch pad and as no medical care could be provided locally. REXUS/BEXUS and the organisers DLR and SNSA are looking for an alternative date.


Our CubeSat project is currently in phase C. Due to the closure of workshops and laboratories at the university there are some delays in production and tests.

Some work, especially software development and documentation is actually progressing faster now, as team members have much less other obligations. The schedule will not be changed for the time being.

The Critical Design Review was scheduled for April 20. Since this is now announced as the first day of lectures we are looking for a new date – and in case the shut down will be extended a good solution for a remote review.


The second balloon in our BUBBLE balloon series was scheduled to launch in April. As there are no production and launch preparations possible at the moment, the schedule will not be able to be kept. As soon as university operations are resumed, we will look for a new launch date.


Our CanSat-Challenge is running and nearing the end. Since no production and launch preparations are possible at present, the schedule will not be able to be kept. As soon as university operations are resumed, we will look for a new launch date.


Hannover Messe

The fair has been postponed by the organizer to 13 – 17 July 2020.

Yuri’s Night Stuttgart

The Yuri’s Night 2020 was cancelled by the organizer.

Tag der Wissenschaft

The Science Day was cancelled by the organizer.

PiAndMore 12 ½

The PiAndMore 12 ½ has been postponed, a new date has not been fixed yet.

Update 2020-03-24


The website has been updated and improved in many places in the last few days. Now no external media and scripts are included and no cookies are set anymore.
This also means that there is no longer a notification to accept cookies. If you still have an old cookie: It will expire at some point and disappear. And you only have it, if you agreed to cookies in the first place.

ROACH2 Integration-week

ROACH2 Integration-week

ROACH2 Integration-week


The REXUS Integration Week took place at ZARM in Bremen from 9 to 13 December. During this week the experiment was assembled, subjected to vibration analysis on a vibration table and tested for compatibility during the bench test.


On Monday we packed the rest of our things and loaded the car. Afterwards we went on a long trip north. The arrival at the hotel in Bremen was in the evening.


Tuesday was completely dedicated to the assembly of the experiment.


On Wednesday we had actually planned our shaker test. Unfortunately we were not yet ready for it, so it was postponed to Thursday. So this day was also spent with assembling. In the evening there was a discussion whether our experiment should be moved to another rocket, because there were compatibility problems with two other experiments. So we sat down in the hotel in the evening and discussed the effects of these changes on our experiment. Our final conclusion was that this change would endanger our and other experiments due to vibrations.

After we had posted a picture of our rover in the club's chat, some memes came back, which we don't want to withhold here.


In the morning we made last preparations before we went on the shaker in the late morning. After a few exciting minutes it was over. The inspection showed that we had some cracks in some parts. But all in all nothing bad and unexpected happened. In the afternoon we had some free time, where we waited for the third team on the rocket, before we had the benchtest in the evening. After one of the experiments had induced a wrong signal on the second one, the test was cancelled and postponed to Friday.


On Friday the Benchtest took place. At the Benchtest all experiments are set up together with the Service Module and the entire flight sequence is simulated. The goal is to find out if the experiments work and to make sure that the experiments do not influence each other. This test went quite smoothly, so we finished testing and packing at 11am and were ready to go home. We arrived back in Stuttgart late in the evening.

ROACH2 Critical Design Review (CDR)

ROACH2 Critical Design Review (CDR)

ROACH2 Critical Design Review (CDR)

CDR at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen

As part of the Critical Design Review of Roach-2, a soldering course took place again this year at the DLR site in Oberpfaffenhofen. A representative of the teams from all over Europe was introduced to the guidelines and practice of THT (Through Hole Technology) and SMD (Surface mounted devices) soldering.


After we arrived well on Monday despite the most difficult weather conditions, we started on Tuesday. On the first day, THT soldering was the main topic at DLR's well-equipped soldering centre (see picture on the right). After we learned the standards in the first half of the day, we could finally try it out for ourselves after a delicious lunch. We worked on 2-layered boards as well as on 4-layered boards (how they are used in the Roach-2 Rover). After we mastered this with success, we went out for dinner with the other teams.


The next day we continued with SMD soldering. In the first half of the day we devoted ourselves to theory again and in the second half we tried to put it into practice. This was clearly more difficult than the THT - soldering since the connections were considerably smaller.

When this was successfully mastered, we received our certificate.


Translated with

On Wednesday the other three team members arrived by train. That evening we also met some other teams at the local pizzeria in Steinebach, a small town near DLR. The following day we had time for ourselves until late afternoon. We used this time to explore the surroundings and after some communication problems with the bus driver on the way to the campus we rehearsed our presentation.

Our first appointment was a presentation about environmental testing. In this lecture we talked about the loads during the mission and the tests for those loads.

In the evening we had a meal together with our supervisors and all teams in a restaurant directly at the lake.

Friday was the day of our CDR (Critical Design Review). As the last team we presented our progress and got valuable feedback. The experiment in general was well received, but we must work on our documentation. After the 20-minute presentation to experts from the participating partner organizations, we answered all questions and received valuable comments and hints.

Immediately afterwards, there was an interface discussion in which possible influences from other experiments were discussed to prevent or minimize mutual interference.


ROACH2 Preliminary Design Review (PDR)

ROACH2 Preliminary Design Review (PDR)

ROACH2 Preliminary Design Review (PDR)

Selection workshop in Bonn

The PDR (Preliminary Design Review) of our project ROACH2 took place on the 12th of February 2019 at the DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen as part of a Students Training Week.
ROACH2 is like its predecessor mission ROACH part of the REXUS/BEXUS program. A program sponsord by the German and Swedish space agencies (DLR and SNSA) to give students the opportunity to develop experiments launched onboard high altitude rockets or balloons.
ROACH2 is a rover which is supposed to drive a parcours in zero gravity only supported by electroadhesion on the inside of a REXUS rocket.

On the first day of Students Training Week the DLR and SNSA as well as ESA were introduced to us. We also got information on the REXUS Service System and on how to design our experiment for implementation. In the evening we had the chance to meet the other teams.
Throughout the week we had workshops about subjects like thermal design, software development, power systems, flight requirements, flight safety and system engineering as well as information about our next steps, as wel as the PDRs, 20 minute presentations followed by questions by the review board. They gave us some useful tips on things we need to improve.
The opportunity to question experts about our challenges that we encountered was really valuable to us. We were also informed on which rocket our experiment would be launched.
The last evening ended with a joint visit to the "Flugwerft Schleißheim".

ROACH2 accepted into REXUS program

ROACH2 accepted into REXUS program

ROACH2 accepted into REXUS-program

Selection Workshop in Bonn

After applying for the new REXUS cycle we were invited to present our experiment ROACH2 at the DLR (German Aerospace Center) in Bonn. Three of our team members went there to present the project.

At the two day event we met our fellow applicants for both the REXUS (Rocket Experiments for University Students) and BEXUS (Balloon Experiments for University Students) program. Besides the presentations of the projects there were a few additional presentations. Some about the program itself and some about the space industry, for example about risk management for space missions.

Each team had twenty-five minutes to present their Experiment and the same amount of time for questioning by the jury, which is formed by experts from the different program partners.

We were accepted!

On December 7th we received the letter officially confirming that ROACH2 will be part of the new REXUS cycle. With this begins a one and a half year long phase of intense engineering, testing and building, leading up to launch and (hopefully) a successful experiment execution.

The next milestone will be the PDR (Preliminary Design Review) for which we have to define our experiment setup, its features and how we intend to build it. At the PDR we will once again present our detailed concept to the jury, which can then give feedback and possibly demand changes.

More information about the REXUS/BEXUS programme and the other teams that were selected can be found on the ESA-Website.