Build a satellite in a can - competition

A CanSat
11 September 2012

Are you a space enthusiast or do you dream of building your own satellite that will fly on board a rocket? ESA’s Education Office is inviting high school students to enter the 2013 European CanSat Competition. The deadline for entries is 4 November 2012.

The competition launch campaign is provisionally scheduled to take place between 10 and 14 April 2013 in the Netherlands. The competition is open to teams of 4 to 10 high school students (aged 16+) from ESA Member States*, assisted by a teacher or tutor.

This year there are 20 launch slots available. The competition will be divided in two categories:

  • Beginners – for teams with no prior experience in building a CanSat and
  • Advanced – for teams with some practical experience or technical background, able to undertake a more complex project.

The teams will have to build their own small “satellite “with the help of a kit in the shape of a soda can and then have the opportunity to launch it on a rocket to an altitude of 1 km.

Final integration

The CanSats will be required to complete a primary mission of measuring temperature and pressure during the flight and a secondary mission of the students’ choice, e.g. altitude control, return to a target point on the ground, differential GPS measurements, or any other innovative experiment.

Through this competition, ESA hopes to inspire the set-up of new CanSat activities throughout its member states, as well as encouraging dialogue and interaction between student teams from many different countries. To this end, it is possible for organisers of a national competition or a regional competition to reserve one of the available launch slots, for example, for a winning or high-scoring team from a national competition.

Setting up a kit

An introductory workshop for the teachers of the selected teams will be held on 7-8 December 2012 at ESTEC, the European Space Agency’s technical centre in the Netherlands. With the assistance of experts, they will learn all the basic steps to build a CanSat and accomplish the mission objectives. They will also have the opportunity to tour part of the site and the Space Expo museum. Interested students or teachers should register on ESA's Education Office’s project portal and upload their completed proposal form before 4 November.

More information, including the competition guidelines and details of the available sponsorship, can be found on the CanSats in Europe website.

* ESA Member States in 2012
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
Cooperating States
Canada, Estonia, Hungary and Slovenia.
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