The third flight

MAPHEUS – Materialphysikalische Experimente unter Schwerelosigkeit, Material Physics under Microgravity Conditions


is a DLR research rocket programme conducting annual launches of scientific payloads dedicated to material studies. Experiments on MAPHEUS cover a wide range of material physics topics such as gelation, the behaviour of granulates, diffusion and the mixing and demixing of metallic alloys. Propelled by a two stage Nike/Improved-Orion motor combination, MAPHEUS typically offers more than three minutes of microgravity time at 10-4g.

MAPHEUS-3 launched 25 November 11.20 UTC
News item
View the recorded launch 
(launch at 01:00)

General information

Launch site Esrange Space Center
Launch date November 25, 2012

Technical information

Rocket type Two stage solid; Nike motor and Improved Orion motor
Nominal diameter 356 mm
Total weight 1217,9 kg
Apogee ~150 km
Microgravity time ~180 s
Length ca 10300mm 
Burning time 1st stage 3,5 s (Nike) 
Burning time 2nd stage 26 s (Imp Orion) 
Max acceleration  21 g 
Flight time to apogee ~190 s 

Experiment modules

Module Experimenter

DLR Institute of Materials Physics in Space PI: Florian Kargl


 DLR Institute of Materials Physics in Space PI: Matthias Kolbe


 DLR Institute of Materials Physics in Space PI: Matthias Sperl

(Battery Module)      

 DLR Institute of Materials Physics in Space,

Mapheus Service Module           

 Developed by: DLR MORABA

 Recovery System                     

 Developed by: DLR MORABA

Contact persons

Mr. Torbjörn Eld, SSC,
Mr. Martin Siegl, DLR,

Read more: DLR site for MAPHEUS

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