MARS are working towards amateur unmanned space launch capability
through a number of interlinked projects

On September 18th, a team of young British rocketry enthusiasts are preparing to put a year's hard work to the test. The aim? To better the 25,400ft of the last September's record-breaking flight and hopefully set a new European amateur altitude record. The team are members of the MARS Advanced Rocketry Society; the rocket is Deimos Odyssey, containing the largest amateur hybrid rocket designed and built in the UK.

2002 saw the twenty-three-foot rocket leap off the pad in a cloud of dust, and thunder out of sight, reaching Mach 1 in 10 seconds and gaining a top speed of almost 1,000mph.

The engine behind this impressive performance, developed by the team, combines Nitrous Oxide and plastic to generate a quarter of a ton of thrust. The static tests this year have been focused on three key areas in order to enhance the rocket's performance; these are a new injection system, a re-design of the nozzle and a revolutionary fill system. MARS are confident that through all of the hard work undertaken during testing this year's launch will not only beat last years record altitude but will also set a new European record, currently held by MARS at 34,500ft.

Deimos Odyssey is a step on the way towards putting Britain back in space. This winter work begins in earnest on the next generation rocket motor, to power the new vehicle Deimos 3, which calculations have shown can comfortably reach the 100km milestone--the edge of space.

MARS is supported by a number of generous sponsors, including Pentax, Swagelok North London, Linde Gas, Baco Metal Centres, Schlumberger and JVC Professional, without whom Britain's amateur space programme would not have been possible. You can follow the launch campaign and find out more about the organisation at and press should contact for access to the media area.

Deimos-2 on its launch