back to top

    Poland to Launch Suborbital Rocket ILR-33 BURSZTYN 2K

    The ILR-33 BURSZTYN 2K rocket, developed by the Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation, is scheduled for a suborbital flight in Norway this July. Supported by the Polish Space Agency (POLSA), which is partially funding the initiative, this test marks a crucial step in the development of Polish suborbital rockets aimed at space missions.

    POLSA announced that the rocket is expected to reach the edge of space during this mission, a testament to the advanced research and development efforts undertaken by Polish engineers. “BURSZTYN is the first rocket worldwide to use 98% hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizer, one of the most environmentally friendly propellants. With this project and the technologies implemented, we aim to demonstrate that sustainable, eco-friendly transportation is feasible in space,” stated Dr. Paweł Stężycki, Director of the Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation.

    Equipped with a hybrid rocket engine and solid propellant motors, the ILR-33 BURSZTYN 2K features several cutting-edge technologies, such as the modular onboard computer OBC-K1, EGG1U pyrotechnic cartridges, pyrotechnic valves, and the mobile autonomous launcher WR-2. All design work was conducted at the Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation.

    Experts highlight the significance of the upcoming July test, as it will be conducted with the same configuration planned for regular suborbital flights. This test is a pivotal moment for Poland’s space technology, underscoring the progress in developing sophisticated rocket systems. “The field tests of the ILR-33 BURSZTYN 2K, developed by the Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation, are crucial for the advancement of rocket technology in Poland. POLSA supports the institute’s efforts, recognizing the expertise and experience of Polish engineers as foundational for participating in major space rocket development programs and projects for the Polish Armed Forces,” said Dr. Michał Wierciński, Vice President of POLSA.

    The BURSZTYN program has already enabled Polish consortia to engage in numerous international rocket projects with the European Space Agency, the European Defence Agency, and the European Defence Fund. “The ILR-33 BURSZTYN 2K system is vital for Poland’s rocket technology advancement. The planned space condition tests are essential for building Polish engineering competencies and developing space rocket technologies. This project also sets the stage for creating advanced large space rockets, currently available in only a few European countries,” added Dr. Paweł Stężycki.

    Norway was selected for this mission due to its suitable space launch facilities and safety requirements for such tests. “The international nature of this research is due to the need for a large drop zone for the rocket’s stages and systems, which necessitates conducting tests outside Poland for safety reasons. This test also represents another opportunity to collaborate with international partners, crucial since much of the R&D on launch vehicle technology in Europe is conducted internationally,” explained Dr. Adam Okniński, Director of the Space Technology Center at the Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation.

    The ILR-33 BURSZTYN 2K, capable of speeds up to 1.4 km/s, has various applications, including atmospheric research and launching scientific experiments for technological and industrial development. “We are optimistic about the upcoming tests of the BURSZTYN system. The rocket is slated for use between 2025 and 2027 by the Polish company Thorium Space as part of the NCBR project ‘Satellite System of Remote Sensing and Communication of Suborbital Research Rockets – Phase II,’ aiming to develop new technological products for the space sector,” stated Dr. Sylwester Wyka, Deputy Director for Research at the Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation.

    More in section