LURA is the first of its kind at Leeds

A student-led, collaborative, multi-discipline engineering team capable of designing, building and flying sub-orbital rockets.


Over the next few years, we are going to develop the technology and infrastructure to regularly launch scientific experiments aboard student-built sounding rockets.

This will make Leeds the only university in the UK to do this.

How are we going to do it?

We’ve got some really exciting plans for the next few years.

May 2021
Start Gryphon I Design Process

The Gryphon I will be the first Leeds student designed sounding rocket. Focusing on simplicity, it shall be powered by a commercial off the shelf solid motor with a target apogee of 10,000ft.

February 2022
Gryphon I-C Launch

In order to test our Gryphon I's recovery system, we are launching a smaller, more compact variant, known as the Gryphon I-C.

March 2022
Gryphon I Validation Launch

To prove the Gryphon I's ability and safety, we will carry out a test launch from the SARA launch site in Scotland. The rocket will carry our unique 'black-box' payload to measure flight performance data and relay it back to ground in realtime.

June 2022
Spaceport America Cup 2022

Our first year in the competition; we'll be sending the Gryphon I soaring up to 10,000ft above the New Mexico desert.

July 2022
Start Gryphon II Design Process

Learning lessons from our first year as a team, we will evolve our design to create a larger, heavy lift rocket: the Gryphon II. This process will last for nearly two years, and will also include several launches of scaled-down test vehicles.

April 2024
Gryphon II Test Launch

We'll conduct the first Gryphon II launch from the UK to test its performance and verify its safety ahead of the Spaceport America Cup.

Regular Payload Launches

The Gryphon II will allow LURA to commence the UK's first-ever University regular experiment launch program. Students from across the campus will fuel their research with experiments flown aboard our sounding rockets.

Spaceport America Cup

The Spaceport America Cup is the world’s largest intercollegiate rocket engineering competition. Over 150 teams from across eleven countries congregate each year to share their passion and expertise in rocket science.

In their own words:

“The Spaceport America Cup is an event where academia, industry, and the public may come together to preserve, popularize, and advance the science of rocketry in a collaborative environment energized by friendly competition.”

Teams participate in one of six categories, split by apogee altitude and propulsion type. We will be entering our Gryphon I rocket in the 10,000ft Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) solid motor category.

Interested in joining Leeds’ first ever rocketry association?

See where you fit in.