ESA title
Rocket being launched

ESA looking for students for its new 'Fly a Rocket!' programme

03/10/2016 22278 views 96 likes
ESA / Education / ESA Academy

ESA is calling on first and second year university students with an interest in space to put themselves forward for a unique project to 'Fly a Rocket!'.

ESA’s Education office is looking for up to 20 students to participate in an online course about rocketry. Following the completion of the course, the students will have the amazing opportunity to take part in a full launch campaign at the Andoya Space Center in Northern Norway, and launch a rocket. 

‘Fly a Rocket!’ is a pilot Hands-on Space Projects’ opportunity offered in the framework of the ESA Academy programme for university students. It is being offered in collaboration with the Norwegian Centre for Space-related Education (NAROM), and the Norwegian Space Centre (Norsk Romsenter).

Narom logo
Narom logo

The online course will run from November 2016 to February 2017. The chosen students will be given a lot of flexibility in the timing so that they can fit the online course around their studies. They will also be given unique access to personnel at NAROM for online support.

The course is aimed at younger university students who may not necessarily be studying aerospace engineering or science. It is designed to show that careers in the space sector do not necessarily require a detailed technical or mathematical background. To this end, ESA is happy to entertain applications from people studying, for example, education, media, and management, as well as the traditional maths, physics, and engineering subjects.

'Fly a Rocket!' complements ESA’s existing Education programmes by targeting students who may be too old to enter the secondary school CanSat competitions and yet who are not old enough or technically skilled enough to apply for higher level student projects such as the Rocket & Balloon experiments for university students (REXUS/BEXUS). 

Norsk Romsenter logo
Norsk Romsenter logo

As part of their application, students must choose which role they are interested in performing during the launch campaign. This could be working on the communications with the rocket, or the payload, or the rocket engines.

During the online course, ESA will set up a social media group so that the students can virtually meet each other. The team will then come together for real in March or April 2017 to assemble and launch the rocket from Andoya.

The students, supported by the Andoya Space Center staff, NAROM, and ESA, will be involved at all stages of the launch campaign, from assembling the rocket payload and the rocket itself, to calibrating the communications equipment and running the operations tower during the actual liftoff.

Rocket launched during European Space Camp
Rocket launched during European Space Camp

This will give the students unprecedented access to space experts. The 'Fly a Rocket!' programme is designed to be a taster of what it’s like to work in Europe’s space industry,” says Alexander Kinnaird, Fly a Rocket! Programme Coordinator at  ESA’s  Education and Knowledge Management Office.

Applicants should sign up to the ESA Education projects portal and download the 'Fly a rocket!' 2017 application form. Eligibility criteria, application guidelines, and campaign roles descriptions are all provided. The completed application form should then be uploaded. The closing date for applications is 23rd October 2016.

For more information, applicants can contact flyarocket @

Successful applicants will have all costs (i.e. travel, accommodation, participation in the campaign) covered by the organisers. Travel costs will be reimbursed in accordance with the ESA Education sponsorship criteria.

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