IT was blast off from Fairlie Moor on Saturday top London science students chose the site to test a rocket they hope to send into outer space.

The team Imperial College London is bidding to become the first university to launch a reusable rocket out of the earth's atmosphere before bringing it back down to Earth

Students and lecturers have teamed up for the Karman Space Programme, which plans to design, build and launch a rocket to pass the Karman Line, the internationally recognised boundary to space, which sits around 100km above sea level.

The team from Imperial is set to build and launch a number of prototypes over the next two years, before the major launch in 2024.

The project is being spearheaded by aeronautical engineering students Shapol M, Shakil Perera, Tian Fang and Mohammad Kapadia, alongside help from academic supervisors.

Shapol said: “This diverse, ambitious and unique group of students are making space more accessible and sustainable, and want to show what is possible for the future.”

The first test launch took place on Fairlie Moor at the weekend, which is regularly by the Scottish Aeronautics and Rocketry Association.

The rocket reached 5,000 metres in the test flight, which was designed to rest the craft’s avionics and telemetry.

The rocket’s nose cone separated earlier than expected, and parachutes built in to bring the craft safely down to Earth did not deploy correctly.

However the maiden flight was still hailed as a success and some useful data was gathered.

He said: “I think everyone is ecstatic and just so relieved that we could do it. It’s been quite a nerve-wracking couple of days.

“We’ve been on this rocket for a very long time and for many of us it’s the first that we’ve ever designed or made.”

The final ship will be around nine metres long and will be propelled by a mixture of ethanol and nitrous oxide.

Helen Sharman, Britain’s first astronaut and UK Outreach Ambassador at Imperial, is supporting the project.

She said: “A huge factor in making rockets eco-friendly is the manufacture of the rocket itself.

“With a reusable design, the students are stretching rocket technology to deliver positive benefits to our lives with minimal negative impact on the Earth, making this a really worthwhile project.”