Entries wanted for the first European CanSat competition
If you have ever wanted to build a space experiment and fly it on a rocket, now is your opportunity. ESA’s Education Office is inviting high school students to enter the first European CanSat competition. The deadline for entries is 25 January 2010.
The competition, which is organised in collaboration with the Norwegian Centre for Space-related Education (NAROM), will take place 15-19 August 2010. It is open to teams of approximately 4 high school students (aged 16+) from ESA Member States and Cooperating States, assisted by a teacher or tutor.
CanSats offer a unique opportunity for students to experience their first real space-related project. Up to 10 teams will be selected to build their own small ‘satellite’ with the help of a kit in the form of a soda can and then have the opportunity to launch it on a rocket from the Andøya Rocket Range in Norway.
The CanSats will be required to complete a primary task of measuring temperature and pressure during the flight and a secondary mission of the students’ choice that may include attitude control, return to a target point on the ground, differential GPS measurements, or any other innovative experiment.
The European CanSat competition is part of ESA’s initiative to inspire young people to follow a career in science or engineering, with a view to ensuring the availability of a highly qualified work force in the space industry of the future.
The competition will offer a unique experience by enabling dialogue and interaction between students, as well as encouraging an element of competition between teams from many different countries.
It will also provide students with a wide range of hands-on benefits. They will be able to participate in all the phases of a real space project, including CanSat design, integration, testing, launch, data analysis and presentation of results. Other practical benefits will include knowledge of soldering, programming, technical design, teamwork and making presentations.
An introductory workshop for the teachers who are involved will be held on 12-13 February at ESTEC, the European Space Agency’s technical centre in the Netherlands. With the assistance of experts from NAROM, 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, including the satellite testing facilities and the Space Expo.
ESA will cover the cost of launching the completed CanSats on a rocket that will fly from Andøya Rocket Range to an altitude of 1 km. Andøya, located 2 degrees north of the Arctic Circle on the Norwegian island of Andenes, is a premier launch facility for sounding rockets and balloons.
Teams will also receive support from ESA and NAROM experts throughout the development process. For example, an instruction manual for building a CanSat will be provided and funding support towards project costs may be requested.
Interested students or teachers should register in the ESA Education Projects database where the application form can be downloaded in Word format and submitted before 25 January 2010. More information can be found in the competition guidelines.
For more information please contact the CanSat Team: cansat @ esa.int.
* 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.
Canada, Estonia, Hungary and Slovenia.