News Archive

Twinned websites with Dermot O'Leary on BBC Radio 2
With the recent success of the Titan mission in mind, Radio 2 teamed up with MARS on Jan 15th for a discussion about the group's activities. Welcome listeners, and enjoy the project details on the site. You can follow the Contact Us link if you have any questions, or want to join the group either with skills to offer or simply to be kept updated about our activities. Also, please visit our sponsors on the left who have helped make our projects possible.

M.A.R.S. congratulates Scaled
M.A.R.S. send their best wishes to Burt Rutan and the rest of the team at Scaled Composites for today's launch of SpaceShipOne which was piloted by Mike Melvill more than 100km above the Earth, making the first flight of a non-governmental aircraft across the boundary of space.

B4 Flight Test Setbacks
The planned launches of Deimos Odyssey for 2003 failed to get very far from the surface of Black Rock Desert playa where they were to start.

Despite being loaded onto the launch tower 3 times over the weekend, none resulted in a successful launch.

MARS rocket is go for launch in Black Rock Desert.
The MARS launch Team are now at the Black Rock Desert, Nevada ready for an attempt to break their existing altitude records in 3 categories. A new Media site is available for members of the press and other media to access news and high resolution images and information. Please Contact us for the link and a valid login.

Swagelok - North London sponsors MARS
MARS are very pleased to announce a new sponsorship deal with Swagelok distributor North London Fluid System Technologies Limited; known as Swagelok North London. Swagelok components are regarded throughout the world as leaders in their field, utilised wherever high pressure gas or fluid systems are encountered in many hi-tech industries like; offshore platforms, petrochemical, chemical, pharmaceutical and aerospace companies.

JVC continued support for 2003
JVC have today confirmed their continued support for the Deimos-Odyssey project for 2003.

Pentax continued sponsorship for 2003
Pentax announces that it would be continuing to support the MARS Advanced Rocketry Society and their Demios-Odyssey programme as it progresses through its next stage. After the outstanding achievements of the team this year in Nevada, setting a new British hybrid altitude record, Pentax is looking forward to helping the MARS team achieve their goals for this coming year.

MARS attends UKSEDS Conference
MARS were invited to speak at the UKSEDS (UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) conference. Other speakers at the conference included Dr Karl Doetsch of the International Space University and a video interview with Mark Shuttleworth (South Africa's first astronaut).

MARS Launches Deimos Odyssey Avionics Test Vehicle
Sunday 3rd November saw the MARS Flight Crew come together once more to launch the Deimos Odyssey Avionics Test Vehicle as part of the development effort towards their ultimate goal of being the first amateur team to launch a rocket into space.

Deimos Odyssey - Launch Evaluation
The MARS launch team returned to the UK on the morning of Wednesday 25th of September after the successful launch of the Deimos Odyssey rocket.

Post-launch analysis is still on-going however more technical details of the launch are now available and a number of new and spectacular images have become available.

MARS Deimos Odyssey Launches and is Recovered!!!
The MARS Deimos-Odyssey rocket took off late on Sunday afternoon U.S. time. The launch procedure was successful, and the MARS Deimos-Odyssey rocket launched on a straight trajectory with the big MARS B4 hybrid rocket motor powering the rocket out of sight, with an over 20 second burn. The whole rocket has been recovered perfectly intact, both the booster and the payload section, and both are now safely back at the launch point.

MARS Deimos Odyssey Launch Day Approaches!
MARS are pleased to report that everything is proceeding smoothly towards the launch of Deimos-Odyssey. The morale of the team is high, and following a dry run to ensure everything still works properly, no outstanding issues were found. The VSAT terminal is working flawlessly, enabling the updates to be brought back straight from the desert launch site!

Deimos Odyssey Goes Live
MARS have now officially announced their plans to launch two versions of the advanced 'Deimos Odyssey' amateur sounding rocket from the U.S.A. around the 20th/21st of September. The MARS team hope to use these tests to 'prove the technology' of their home-made 'hybrid rocket motor' by flying it to high altitude in preperation for a bid to reach space in the very near future.

Tomorrows World Show Success
MARS exhibited the completed Deimos Odyssey B rocket on their stand at the 'Tomorrows World Roadshow' exhibition at London's Earls Court in July, 2002, .as well as the Deimos 3 sounding rocket, which was hung dramatically from the ceiling in the foyer of the Earls Court venue for the duration of the show.

B4 Hybrid Rocket Motor "Running like a dream"
MARS has carried out the latest in it's ongoing programme of tests of the B4 hybrid rocket motor, with the aim of it becoming a cheap 'off-the-shelf' propulsion system for low to medium altitude work as the new, larger propulsion systems under development by MARS come on line.

Deimos 2 launch successful
On Thursday, 15th November 2001, 9 members of the MARS flight crew travelled over 400 miles north to a remote private launch site in Scotland for the culmination of the most exciting and ambitious project MARS have ever undertaken.

Deimos PTV1 composite hybrid successful!
In the aftermath of the cancellation of the Deimos Odyssey launch and the launch of the 'ADV2' rocket by our 'rivals' AspireSpace to just under 5000ft (after three years of development) Ben Jarvis decided that MARS should make an amateur hybrid vehicle to launch at the K-Lob launch and set a new amateur altitude record. Having just proven the performance of the aluminised 'Sparky Concern' fuel grain in static tests of the BK-Flamer motor it was decided that a small motor using this fuel would be a viable option. If the new fuel wasn't enough this flight was also to be the first test of a fully composite hybrid propulsion system in the UK. The Deimos 'Propulsion Test Vehicle 1' was born.

MARS crew smash records at K-Lob
The weekend of September 29th/30th should have seen the Flight Crew in the Black Rock desert in Nevada, however, due to the cancellation of the Deimos Odyssey 2001 project at the last minute the group found themselves suddenly free to attend the K-Lob launch at Pete's Farm in Lincolnshire to be held that same weekend. With a new found enthusiasm for the UK based projects and lots of previously booked off holiday several members of the group went all out to make the most of the launch opportunity.

Deimos Odyssey Postponed
Those 'in the know' will be aware that MARS were planning to launch a very large hybrid altitude record attempt in the Black Rock desert USA over the weekend of 29th/30th September. Unfortunately, due to the events of September 11th in New York the flight crew had to make a very hard decision and called off the trip at the last minute.

Hybrid Tests
During the preparations for the Deimos Odyssey and Deimos 2 launches MARS have made a large number of tests of hybrids and hybrid motor elements to better determine the optimum design for several critical systems.

MARS feature on Discovery Channels "Detonators" show
Tune in at 23:00 BST on August 8th to see the documentary following Phobos 4s development and flight. The series follows the varied uses of explosives in the modern world, but the producers took a slight detour to feature MARS, such was their interest in the groups activities.

The programme will be repeated at 16:00 on the 9th, and on Discovery +1 an hour after each screening

Phobos EAV Gets UK and European Altitude Records
On the 1st of October, at 12:15 pm PST (8:15 pm GMT), the UK Phobos-EAV rocket, built by UK amateur rocketry group MARS, successfully blasted off from the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, U.S.A. setting a new verified altitude record for a UK built amateur rocket, of over 11 kilometres (34,500 feet), or over 1/10th of the way to space, almost 2 1/2 times higher than the previous UK altitude record of 14,398 feet.

Thanks to who helped to make this possible.

Phobos EAV Altitude Attempt
The weekend of 23-24th September saw MARS put the final touches to the Phobos EAV (PEAV) project, a vehicle designed to regain the altitude record they lost in March. The boosted dart design, similar to Phobos II, has been employed, and simulations predict that the dart will smash the current record.

Thanks to who helped to make this possible.

Phobos II Launches
On Saturday 11th of March 2000 MARS' most 'high tech' rocket ever screamed in to the skies of Lincolnshire in an attempt to retain the UK amateur rocket altitude record. The flight was one of three altitude attempts made on the day as part of the British National Space Science Centre 'Rocket Challenge 2000' in association with BBC Tomorrows World.

BBC TV film Phobos II
The end of February saw BBC TV film the construction of Phobos II for the television programme Tommorows World Live Lab, due to air on March 22nd. The last design details of the rocket were finalised and construction continued on the altitude competition challenger.

MARS Gets New Website
The MARS website gets a much needed redesign and update. You might have already noticed the front end has changed somewhat but the backend also has had major updates, mainly to harness the power of PHP. These updates are in order to help us maintain the site in addition to improving the content.

MARS attend first event in 2000
On the 22/01/2000 and the 23/01/2000 MARS held 'Brass BALLS', the first launch in 2000. The venue was Pete's farm, this must be the center of UK rocketry by now.

MARS rocket shown on Sky TV
Early November and the MARS rocket Deimos 2 STV was flown for the Sky Television programme skyrocket. The programme aired later in the month.

First flight in the Deimos Project
At the International Rocket week event held in Scotland, the first rocket in the Deimos project was succesfully flown.

MARS exhibit at Earls Court
From the 30th of June to the 4th of July, MARS Exhibited at the Tomorrows World Live event at Londons Earls Court.

Deimos space shot project unveiled
The middle of June saw the unveiling of the Diemos Project, the aim launch and recovering a rocket into space.

MARS attend the UKRA '99 Launch event
June 1999 saw MARS attend the UKRA '99 launch event, held again at the Garlands Shooting Range in Staffordshire.

MARS breaks altitude record for flight in UK
Mars breaks the record for the highest flight by a UK rocket in the UK.

First HPR meeting of 1999
March 1999 saw MARS attending the first high power rocketry launch meeting of year.

MARS exhibit at Model Engineering Show 1999
In January 1999, MARS had a stand and was exhibiting at the Model Engineering Show in London.

MARS give talk at UK-SEDS
MARS give a talk at a Propulsion Workshop at the UK-SEDS conference.

MARS Flight Crew Member on National TV.
October 1998 saw resident MARS Flight Crew mad scientist, Richard Osborne, on National TV.

MARS at K-lob 1998
At the end of September, 1998, 3 members of the MARS Flight Crew, Ben Jarvis, Iain Colledge and Richard Osborne, returned to Pete Davy's launch site in Lincolnshire, for the K-lob High Power Launch Event.

1st UK Amateur Hybrid Flight
September the 13th 1998, MARS flew the first successful amateur hybrid rocket in the UK, possibly even the first UK designed and built hybrid flight ever. The rocket used NOX and acrylic as fuel, and was developed by MARS

International Rocket Weekend 1998
As usual MARS made its annual pilgrimage to the Scottish Rocket Weekend.

MARS Breaks Altitude Record
August 1998 saw MARS break the existing verified altitude record for a UK amateur rocket.