The REXUS/BEXUS programme allows students from universities and higher education colleges across Europe to carry out scientific and technological experiments on research rockets and balloons. Each year, two rockets and two balloons are launched, carrying up to 20 experiments designed and built by student teams.
The basic idea behind REXUS / BEXUS is to provide an experimental space platform for students in the field of aerospace technology. Besides additional study motivation, the students also gain experience in scientific experimental probe design, project team work and management which are important knowledge for their future careers.
REXUS experiments are launched on an unguided, spin-stabilised rocket powered by an Improved Orion Motor with 290 kg of solid propellant. It is capable of taking 40 kg of student experiment modules to an altitude of approximately 100 km. The vehicle has a length of approx. 5.6 m and a body diameter of 35.6 cm.
BEXUS experiments are lifted by a balloon with a volume of 12 000 m³ to a maximum altitude of 35 km, depending on total experiment mass (40-100 kg). The flight duration is 2-5 hours.
The REXUS/BEXUS programme is realised under a bilateral Agency Agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB). The Swedish share of the payload has been made available to students from other European countries through a collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA).
EuroLaunch, a cooperation between the Esrange Space Center of the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and the Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) of DLR, is responsible for the campaign management and operations of the launch vehicles. Experts from ESA, SSC and DLR provide technical support to the student teams throughout the project.
REXUS and BEXUS are launched from SSC, Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden.