The primary goal of the Sugar Shot to Space program is to loft a rocket powered by "sugar propellant" into Space, officially defined as 100 km (62 miles) above the earth's surface, and to safely recover the vehicle.
Inspiration for Sugar Shot to Space arose from a dialogue between Experimental Rocketry enthusiasts in an internet forum. An innocent question was posted: Might it be possible to send a sugar-powered rocket to Space? To attempt to answer this intriguing question, calculations were done, simulations were run, and the final answer was “Yes, in theory it is possible. Now let’s get down to work and show it can be done.”
Who we are
Sugar Shot to Space is a collection of Experimental Rocketry enthusiasts who share a common passion for designing, building and flying rockets. All are volunteers who commit whatever time they can spare in support of the program. Most have full-time jobs and come from all walks of life. Some are retired. Some are self-employed. We are teachers, pilots, machinists, engineers, scientists, graphic artists, computer or software specialists, students, craftspersons, and other common folk with a variety of complementary callings. We are disparately located all over the globe, connected through virtual means of internet, e-mail and Skype, a truly 21st century endeavor. We all dream of building a rocket that will someday reach the extreme frontier of Space. But we are much more than dreamers, we are ardent do-ers.
The fundamental challenge of Sugar Shot to Space is to achieve the goal of sending a rocket into Space utilizing a classic amateur propellant. "Sugar propellant" is undoubtedly the most popular propellant used by rocketry experimentalists worldwide due to its inherent simplicity and safety. Consisting of a cast binary mixture of a chemical oxidizer and a sugar, this propellant burns and behaves in a very similar manner to its professional counterpart. The key differences are much lower performance and simplified manufacture. Sugar propellant is probably the most “green” of any solid rocket propellants, consisting of, and producing, no toxic or environmentally harmful products.
In addition to the extraordinary goal of sending a rocket beyond the boundary of Space, there are other equally important and more fundamental goals. This program is intended to be universal in scope with regard to involvement, and as such, participants from around the world have been invited to join in this quest. It is hoped that the Amateur Experimental Rocketry community, which over the past decade has grown in size and in collaboration thanks to the internet, will bond even more closely -- to share our ideas, experiences, successes and failures. Other goals include expanded development of "sugar propellant" technology, leading to greater knowledge and enhanced safety of sugar propellant rocketry. And no one can argue that achieving success would bestow deserved respect upon the remarkable "sugar propellant". Last, but not least, it is hoped that attention spurred by this program will promote an interest in science & technology and begin paving the way for future "rocket engineers", professional and amateur alike, to take on future challenges limited only by our dreams and imagination and fueled by passion and ingenuity.
The Sugar Shot to Space (SS2S) program will manifest itself through a series of projects with the last, and most impressive, being a launch of a rocket vehicle by which SS2S reaches Space. The aim of achieving our final goal through a series of projects is to tackle the immense challenge through a “stepping stone” approach. Building up our knowledge, experience and confidence, each project will have an individual set of objectives. The cumulative knowledge gained will afford us the best chance of achieving success when it comes time to “push the button” that will vault our Space rocket beyond the boundaries of the sky.
The envisioned primary rocket vehicles and motors are illustrated below with a comparative scale. Projects are detailed in the links below: