Category Archives: Space participation

Student CanSat competitions underway in US and Europe for 2016

The CanSat Competition involves student teams building soda can sized “satellites” that ride suborbital rockets to a high altitude and perform particular tasks such as atmospheric measurements. The program has been going on for several years in the US and is also now in Europe:

Getting ready for the European CanSat competitions 2016

15 September 2015The ESA Education team has the pleasure to announce that preparations for the 2016 edition of the European CanSat competition are underway! The launch campaign will take place at the end of June 2016.

This will be the first time ESA assigns a space theme to the competition, which will be announced in the near future.

Recovered CanSats from the launches
A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can. The challenge for the students taking part in this competition is to fit all the major subsystems found in a satellite, such as power, sensors and a communication system, into this minimal volume. The CanSat is then launched to an altitude of a few hundred metres by a rocket, or dropped from a platform or captive balloon, where it carries out its scientific experiment and achieves a safe landing.

Before the official European CanSat competition takes place, several national CanSat competitions will be held in various ESA member states*. The winners of the national competitions will be able to participate in the European one. The national organisers are invited to send us the name of their national winning teams before 17 April 2016.

Details about the organisation of the national competitions are available on the CanSat website. Help and advice for the national organisers, the students and teachers, as well as guidelines and timetables will be published soon.

Students tracking their CanSats during the launch
The location of the European CanSat competition finals will be announced in the upcoming months. ESA will sponsor the launch and activities of the European finals as well as the accommodation of the teams who will be participating (maximum 4 students and 1 accompanying teacher per team). Travel expenses will have to be paid by the participants themselves. The student teams are requested to speak English, as all documentation and presentations that the students will have to prepare are in this language.

Several conditions have to be met in order to ensure that your team can be accepted for the European competition. One team must be composed of a maximum of four students. Each team needs to be supervised by a teacher or mentor. One teacher can be responsible for a maximum of one team. All students need to be enrolled in a secondary school located in one of ESA’s Member States*. At least 50% of the students included in a team must be of the nationality of the country of the school where they are enrolled, and be aged between 14 and 20. University students will not be accepted for this competition.

If you want more details about the national and European CanSat competitions, or if you wish to organise the national competition in your own country (if it’s not already organised there), then please contact us at cansat @ We wish all participants the best of luck for this engaging challenge. Hope to see you at the next European CanSat competition!

The Space Show crowd-funding campaign exceeds goal – Still time to support stretch goals

The Space Show‘s Indiegogo campaign to fund proper archiving of 15 years of programs has surpassed its goal with a few hours left. David Livingston writes:

WE DID IT!!! We went over the top on our campaign yesterday morning. Thank you very much for your support, your networking help and your faithful listening to The Space Show. With 16 hours remaining for our campaign, we are funded at 112% of our goal ($11,170) and that number continues to increase. 126 (so far) of you joined us in this campaign to help create the new type of website we have all wanted for years and to finally have a searchable database with archival quality archives plus a blog that makes sense and is integrated into the website

Extra money beyond the goal will also be of great benefit to this non-profit program:

As we approach the final hour of our campaign, our first crowdfunding campaign ever by the way, we still have perks and Space Show opportunities available for you and everyone interested in The Space Show and what we do for space development and exploration. Just because we are winding down and are more than 12% over our goal, it does not mean we can’t benefit from your continued support. The additional funding will allow us to consider some additional enhancements to new The Space Show website.

For example, we are looking into building in the structure to do selective written transcripts. We want the website to have the capability to do this once we resolve the issues around written transcripts. Issues we have talked about on many Space Show programs so I won’t go over them now. Thus, your continued support up to the final bell is needed and greatly appreciated.

We do have a few sponsorships remaining plus the Listener Voice, host your own show, be your own guest and co-host a show in addition to the logo items and more.

Check out the latest on our campaign site,

For more details, check our or support site, Once our campaign has ended and we have all the supporter details from Indiegogo, we will begin processing the perks and sending you The Space Show/One Giant Leap thank you and acknowledgement letter.


Video: 8.25 – A walkthrough of Copenhagen Suborbitals

The latest live program included an interview with Mads Wilson of Copenhagen Suborbitals about a recent workshop that they held : A walkthrough of Copenhagen Suborbitals – TMRO

From the caption:

TMRO Live is a crowd funded show. If you like this episode consider contributing to help us to continue to improve. Head over to for information, goals and reward levels. Don’t forget to check out our Space Pod campaign as well over at

Send your name to Mars on the InSight lander

A new public participation program from NASA:

Send Your Name to Mars on NASA’s Next
Red Planet Mission

Mars enthusiasts around the world can participate in NASA’s journey to Mars by adding their names to a silicon microchip headed to the Red Planet aboard NASA’s InSight Mars lander, scheduled to launch next year.

“Our next step in the journey to Mars is another fantastic mission to the surface,” said Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “By participating in this opportunity to send your name aboard InSight to the Red Planet, you’re showing that you’re part of that journey and the future of space exploration.”

Submissions will be accepted until Sept. 8. To send your name to Mars aboard InSight, go to:

The fly-your-name opportunity comes with “frequent flier” points to reflect an individual’s personal participation in NASA’s journey to Mars, which will span multiple missions and multiple decades. The InSight mission offers the second such opportunity for space exploration fans to collect points by flying their names aboard a NASA mission, with more opportunities to follow.

Last December, the names of 1.38 million people flew on a chip aboard the first flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which will carry astronauts to deep space destinations including Mars and an asteroid. After InSight, the next opportunity to earn frequent flier points will be NASA’s Exploration Mission-1, the first planned test flight bringing together the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule in preparation for human missions to Mars and beyond.

InSight will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California in March 2016 and land on Mars Sept. 28, 2016. The mission is the first dedicated to the investigation of the deep interior of the planet. It will place the first seismometer directly on the surface of Mars to measure Martian quakes and use seismic waves to learn about the planet’s interior. It also will deploy a self-hammering heat probe that will burrow deeper into the ground than any previous device on the Red Planet. These and other InSight investigations will improve our understanding about the formation and evolution of all rocky planets, including Earth.

For additional information about the InSight mission, visit:

You can follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter at: and