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Cansat being weighed

Call for proposals for 2015 European CanSat Competition

05/11/2014 4715 views 14 likes
ESA / Education / Teachers' Corner

Big dreams often start small. If you dream of sending a big mission to space, then the best way to start is with something the size of a soft-drink can. Send your proposal and participate in the 2015 European CanSat Competition!

ESA’s Education Office, in collaboration with the Portuguese AeroClube de Torres Vedras and the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture, Ciencia Viva, is inviting secondary school students to enter the 2015 European CanSat Competition. The deadline for entries is 7 December 2014.

CanSats are small ‘satellites’ containing all the necessary subsystems found in a real satellite - such as power and communications – that fit into a 330ml soft-drink can. They do not go into space but are released from a rocket or a balloon at an altitude of about 1 kilometre. On their way back to the ground, CanSats have to perform a certain mission and land safely.

ESA’s  European CanSat Competition requires that every CanSat be designed to complete a primary as well as a secondary mission.

The CanSat’s primary mission is the same for all participating teams: to measure the air temperature and air pressure as it falls back to Earth. The data must be transmitted by the CanSat at least once every second so that the team can analyse it and display it on a graph.

The CanSat’s secondary mission can be chosen by each participating team. For example, it could be the measurement of more advanced parameters, such as acceleration, GPS location or surrounding radiation levels, or it could be to perform a landing using a control mechanism such as a parafoil to come down as close as possible to a target. It can even be the release of a small rover after landing.

ESA has 18 launch slots available for the 2015 European CanSat Competition. A number of slots are already reserved for the winners of national CanSat competitions organised in several ESA Member States (click here to see the list of national CanSat competitions and the contact details of the organizers). Through a competitive selection process ESA will assign the remaining places to the teams from ESA Member states that do not  have a national competition and that responded to this call for proposals.

The Mission Impossible CanSat (PT) ready for launch, Andoya  2014 European CanSat Competition Campaign
The Mission Impossible CanSat (PT) ready for launch, Andoya 2014 European CanSat Competition Campaign

The 2015 launch campaign

The 2015 European CanSat Competition Launch Campaign will take place at the Santa Cruz Air Field, 60 km north of Lisbon, Portugal, on 25-28 June 2015.

ESA will cover the accommodation, meals and local transportation expenses for the participating teams (one teacher and up to 4 students max), as well as all costs for the rocket launches and the related flight activities.

Teams are responsible for obtaining alternative sponsorship for any additional CanSat hardware they may need (beyond the kit supplied to the teacher), as well as for their  travel expenses to and from the competition launch campaign location.

If the national 2014-2015 CanSat competition in your country is already closed, do not miss the opportunity to apply next year!

Entries to the competition will be divided into two categories: beginners and advanced, depending on the team’s experience. Each participating team must be composed of 4 to max 10 secondary school students, aged 14 years or more, and be assisted by a teacher.

Introductory teacher training workshop

The teachers of the chosen teams will be invited by ESA to attend an introductory workshop at ESA’s ESTEC centre in The Netherlands which will take place on 28-30 January 2015. Each teacher will receive training on topics such as sensors and signal analysis, data handling and transmission, software installation and programming, and will be given a CanSat kit.  

All costs related to the teachers’ introductory workshop will be borne by ESA. This includes travel expenses, accommodation, meals, training material, and the provision of the CanSat kit.

Students team at their ground station
Students team at their ground station

How to apply

The guidelines for the 2015 European CanSat Competition are published on the ESA Education Portal at and on the CanSats in Europe website at They can also be downloaded here. Read these documents carefully before applying.

The deadline for proposals is Sunday 7 December 2014 at 23:59 CET. A complete proposal form must be emailed to ESA before the deadline at, with the subject: ‘2015 European CanSat Competition Call for Proposals.’


In order for a proposal to be considered eligible, the following conditions should be fulfilled:

  • The team should comprise between 4 and 10 secondary school students (aged 14+), and be assisted by a teacher.
  • The team members must be enrolled as full-time students at a secondary school in an ESA Member State.
  • The team’s Member State should not be any of those hosting a national CanSat competition (see list below), since a place for the winning team of each national competition is already reserved.
  • The majority of the team members must be nationals of an ESA Member State.
  • A complete application must be emailed to ESA before 24:00 CET on Sunday 7 December 2014 at with the subject: “2015 European CanSat Competition Call for Proposals”.


The winning teams of the 2014 European CanSat competitions were:

  • For the advanced category: Ro-Sat One team from Romania; their CanSat included a miniature planetary rover.
  • For the beginners category: Kattsat team from Norway; their CanSat measured solar radiation using a flexible solar panel and three light sensors.

ESA Member States with a National CanSat Competition:

If the deadline of National CanSat competition in your country has already passed, consider applying next year!

Organisers: Région wallonne and Région de Bruxelles-Capitale
For Bruxelles - Aline Franchimont  afranchimont @
For Wallonie - Elise Munoz-Torres elise.munoztorres @
Dates of launch Campaign: May 2015
Applications are in progress now

Organiser: various partners
Contact: info @
Dates of launch Campaign: 6-10 October 2014
Applications are closed for this year

Organisers: ESERO Ireland and Cork Electronic Industries Association
Contact: Stephanie Oneil, Stephanie.oneill @
Dates of launch Campaign: 20-21 March 2015
Applications are closed for this year

Organiser: Liceo Scientifico Statale "Alessandro Tassoni" and partners
Contact: info @
Application deadline: April 30th, 2015
Dates of launch Campaign: September 26th 2015

Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden
Organisers: Nordic ESERO and NAROM
Contact: Thomas Gansmoe,  thomas @ 
Dates of launch Campaign: 20-23 April 2015 at Andøya Space Center, Norway

Organisers: Centro AeroEspaço do Aeroclube de Torres Vedras and Ciência Viva
Contact: CanSat Portugal, cansatportugal @
Dates of launch Campaign: 2-3 May 2015

Organiser: ESERO Romania
Contact: Virgiliu Pop ROSA, virgiliu.pop @
Dates of launch Campaign: Tentative April 2015

United Kingdom
Organiser: ESERO UK
Contact: Tom Lyons National STEM Centre,  t.lyons @
Dates of launch Campaign: 12-14 March 2015
Applications are closed for this year

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