Into the Black is a two-stage passively stabilized very high-powered sounding rocket. The rocket is designed with high strength materials due to the nature of its mission. Powered by advanced solid fuel compositions the goal of Into the Black is to cross the Kármán line (100 km altitude) and become the first rocket designed and built by a University team to officially reach space.

Into the Black flies on motors especially cast by our team with a total impulse of both stages of approximately 36,500 N.s. Off-the-shelf avionics are used to control and monitor flight with in-house built telemetry systems to tracking the rocket all the way to its target altitude. The rocket takes off from an eight meter launch tower and reaches a top speed of Mach 5.6 with apogee at around 140 km. Total flight time is around 13 minutes and descent is controlled by a single drogue parachute. Since splashdown is up to 15 km off shore, a custom-built flotation device inflates using CO2, acting as both a main parachute and keeping the sustainer afloat while awaiting recovery by helicopter.


Into the Black flew on its maiden flight on Sunday the 3rd of March at 9:10AM NZT and reached a top speed of Mach 3.15 (3,889km/h) in 4.8 seconds with a peak acceleration of 34g at 3.7 seconds into the flight. Due to an early firing of the flotation device the flight was ended with no ignition of the sustainer, but the remainder of the flight was recorded all the way to touchdown with all 3 parts of the rocket being recovered with most of the rocket being able to be re-used for another flight including the entire avionics bay.


Mach 3.15


34 g