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CanSats launched in the 2019 edition of the European CanSat Competition.

Apply now for the 2020 European CanSat Competition!

26/09/2019 5916 views 12 likes
ESA / Education / CanSat

ESA Education is happy to announce that registration for the 2020 European CanSat Competition is now open! Teams made up of 4 to 6 secondary school students, aged 14-20 years old, from ESA Member States, Slovenia and Canada are invited to participate. Teams from Malta and Japan can participate as guest competitors.

CanSat 2020 - The 10th edition!
This year is the 10th edition of the European CanSat Competition. The school project started in 2010 with countries participating directly through ESA. In the first edition, 66 students took up the challenge. Throughout the years, its success has steadily grown. Currently, more than 1000 students take part in 16 national competitions in participating countries!

What is CanSat?
The European CanSat Competition is an ESA Education project that promotes STEM literacy amongst young European students through project-based learning. A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can. The team’s challenge is to fit all the major subsystems of a satellite inside this minimal volume, launched by a small rocket up to an altitude of 1 km. As the CanSat descends, its mission begins.

Every participating CanSat team will have to accomplish two missions: a mandatory primary mission to transmit and collect air temperature and pressure data at least once a second by radio communication; the secondary mission is completely open to the students’ imagination. Your secondary mission could be exploring a new planet, analysing earth’s atmosphere, developing a rover to fit inside the CanSat, or anything else you can think of. 

Students on the launch field
Students on the launch field

How to Apply? 
There are two ways to apply for the European CanSat Competition, depending on which country you are from and whether your country hosts its own national competition. To apply, see which one of the two options below applies:

  • If you are from Estonia, France, Hungary, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Canada or Slovenia, you have to send your application directly to ESA via this linkOne team from each country will be selected. The deadline for direct applications to ESA from these countries is 2 December 2019.
  • If your country is hosting a national competition, you must apply in order to participate in your national competition. If you win the national competition, you will automatically be granted a place in the European CanSat Competition. In the 2019-2020 school year, CanSat National Competitions will take place in: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Nordic (joint competition of Finland, Norway and Sweden), Portugal, Poland, Romania, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK. In these cases, apply directly via your national organiser’s website.

Download the 2020 CanSat Competition Guidelines for full eligibility criteria, rules and other important information. See the timeline for key competition dates.

Rocket launch at the 2019 launch campaign
Rocket launch at the 2019 launch campaign

The 1st ranked team from each of the national competitions, along with the teams selected directly by ESA, will participate in the European launch campaign, which will take place from 22 to 27 June 2020. The location of the European CanSat Competition will be announced in the coming months. 

For the first time, ESA will organise a webinar to support students and their CanSat missions. 

Find out more about the 2020 European CanSat Competition and get inspiration from the previous editions on our dedicated CanSat website and Facebook page. Have a look at the photo album of the 2019 CanSat launch campaign to see what’s involved and how much the student teams enjoyed the competition! For any questions about the competition, do not hesitate to contact us at

ESA is looking forward to welcoming your team to the 2020 European CanSat Competition. Good luck to everyone taking part. We hope to see you there!