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Launch of the Mongoose 98 student rocket from Andøya Space Center

Fly a Rocket! programme launches a new cycle

03/09/2020 13890 views 56 likes
ESA / Education / Fly A Rocket!

The ESA Education Office, in partnership with the Norwegian Center for Space-related Education (NAROM) and the Norwegian Space Agency, is happy to announce that a new cycle for the Fly a Rocket! programme is now open for applications.

The ESA Education Office is looking for 24 future space engineers and scientists to participate in the Fly a Rocket! programme. The Fly a Rocket! programme offers a unique opportunity for bachelor students to learn about the physics, science and operations behind a rocket launch. It combines theoretical course work carried out online, with a hands-on launch campaign for a sounding rocket – a rocket designed to carry scientific experiments and sensors on a sub-orbital flight – from the Andøya Space Center in northern Norway.

The programme is offered under an agreement between the ESA Education office, the Norwegian Center for Space-related Education (NAROM), and the Norwegian Space Agency (Norsk Romsenter). 

The call for applications is now open until the 26th of October 2020 23:59CET

Participants of the 2019 Fly a Rocket launch campaign
Participants of the 2019 Fly a Rocket launch campaign

From November 2020 to February 2021, the selected candidates will take part in an online course where they have the opportunity to learn the necessary theoretical background for the rocket campaign – both from an engineering and scientific perspective. Topics covered include rocket dynamics, orbital mechanics, atmospheric and aurora physics, soldering, and data analysis, among others. 

The launch campaign is planned to take place around March 2021*. The students will travel to the Andøya Space Center, north of the Arctic Circle, where they will put their knowledge into action. In a week filled with additional training and hands-on work, the participants will be split into teams and will have the chance to work on the NAROM telemetry station, the rocket’s payload section or several sensor experiments. They will build, test and finally launch their own sounding rocket. During the campaign, students will work in close collaboration with space industry experts from the Andøya Space Center and take over typical tasks of personnel involved in sounding rocket launch campaigns.

Payload of the student rocket
Payload of the student rocket

The unique opportunity is aimed at bachelor-level students early in their studies and will give them an introduction to space science and technology, with an aim to ‘fill the gap’ between Secondary school activities, such as CANSats, and more advanced space-education programmes such as REXUS/BEXUS. Participation in this programme will elevate participants’ understanding and appreciation for the space industry and encourage them to pursue further opportunities within their studies or careers related to space.

While an understanding of some higher-level mathematics is required, candidates need not necessarily be from an aerospace background. However, they should demonstrate a strong interest in the space industry, space science or technology. 

Applications are judged on the candidate’s motivation and the relevance of the Fly a Rocket! programme to their education and ambitions. The candidate’s proposal of promotional activities relating to the programme and/or ‘space’, as well as a suggested hypothetical sounding rocket payload, are also taken into consideration in the selection.

Students during countdown at the 2019 Fly a Rocket! launch campaign
Students during countdown at the 2019 Fly a Rocket! launch campaign

To apply, read more information on our website, check if you fulfil our eligibility criteria and fill in the application form.

Successful applicants will have the costs for travel (up to a ceiling), accommodation, and participation in the campaign covered by the organisers.

For more information, applicants can contact flyarocket @

*The programme partners are monitoring the development of the COVID situation, in order to make sure the launch campaign can be conducted safely. We reserve the right to postpone or cancel the campaign, if the COVID situation does not allow to go ahead.

Fly a Rocket! programme
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