Hitchhiker | Czech Rocket Society

HITCHHIKER

THE FIRST STEP...


Hitchhiker is historically the first ever project of Czech Rocket Society. The inspiration for its name was taken from a famous Hithchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by English author Douglas Adams. Technically, this launcher is similar to the ones that are being launched during Czech Rocket Challenge. However, Hitchhiker is build entirely by Czech Rocket Society, including the motor.

The concept

Hitchhiker is approximately 1 meter long rocket, build by three separate departments;

Propulsion

They have developed their own solid rocket motor propulsing the rocket. It consists of sorbitol and potassium nitrate (KNO3). It's named Prometheus.

Avionics

The launcher is equipped with electronics for data collection and analysis. It is also crucial for the parachute to be deployed based on reached apogee. It's named Marvin.

Structures

The fuselage is made out of composite materials (gifted to us kindly by Compo Tech, whom we thank). It has a detachable nosecone that holds the parachute used for safe landing.

Hitchhiker Launcher is able to reach up to 500 metres. The altitude is not important this time, as the most important mission of Hitchhiker is to inspire. Main part of the project is a structure called "selfie rod" which is extended from the rocket after the parachute opens. On one end of the selfie rod, there is a little car model that is recorded by a camera on the other end.

If you remember the Falcon Heavy test flight in 2018, you might see the source of our influence. However, instead of Elon's Tesla Roadster overlooking the Earth, we are just looking down on a red Mini Cooper with our late-summer Czech countryside in the background.

Currently in 2022, the project had ended. We'd finished extensive project documentation (if you're interested, do not hesitate to contact us), which had been continuously worked on by the project departments based on carried out test and launches. Even before the build, we first got our feedback from the experts in the field during Critical Design Review in summer 2021. Professors and associates of Czech Technical University were present, for example.

Testing

During testing, the departments tried if all their systems work properly. After three full-scale tests we were sure we are ready to launch during Czech Rocket Challenge 2021 reliably. For this very flight, launch procedures, simulations and other things were prepared carefully.

Official launch

During Czech Rocket Challenge 2021, the first official launch of Hitchhiker took place on 25th September 2021. Despite not being part of the competition (because we were there to inspire potential future member of the Society and to help ESA BIC with organization of the event), the Hitchhiker was launched safely and norminally. Czech Television has also made a coverage of the competition and of Hitchhiker. The winner of the competition was Xperience Aerospace team consisting two members of our Society. Their rocket reached unbelievable 971 metres.  

CRS especially thanks to assistant professor Kousal for the photos

"The next step" : CANSAT