2018 LRC winners from Imperial CollegeCredit: Tolga Ors
2018 LRC winners from Imperial College

Careers Advice

6 Student Projects to Launch your Space Career!

6 great ways to meet new people passionate about space, learn new skills and boost your CV!

Not only are student projects great fun, they are also an excellent way to learn more about the space industry, meet other students and industry professionals and develop your skills!

They are also a great way to boost your CV and show future employers your passion for the space sector!


1. The Olympus Rover Trials

The Olympus Rover Trails (previously the Lunar Rover Competition) is run annually by UKSEDS and challenges teams of university students to design and  build a martian rover that is capable of performing tasks and surviving tests that are representative of a real martian mission.

The competition is made up of three stages, the Preliminary Design Review, followed by a Critical Design Review, the top teams are then invited to test their rovers at the competition day held at RALSpace in Harwell, Oxfordshire.

How to get involved: The Olympus Rover Trails are open to teams of UKSEDS members and university students. Teams are limited to 15 members and the competition phases run over the academic year.

For more information on the competition rules and regulations and how to get involved click here.


2. The National Rocketry Championships (NRC)

The National Rocketry Championships are run annually by UKSEDS and the challenge is to design, build and launch a mid-power rocket with the aim of 

reaching the greatest apogee possible. Teams will complete a design and build phase submitting a report to UKSEDS before moving onto the launch phase, a launch report is then submitted.

How to get involved: The NRC runs throughout the academic year and is open to all branches of UKSEDS and university students.

More information on how to get involved and what the competition involves can be found here.


3. Rocket & Balloon Experiments for University Students (REXUS/BEXUS)

REXUS/BEXUS run by the European Space Agency gives university students the opportunity to launch scientific and technological experiments on research rockets and balloons!

Every year 2 rockets and 2 balloons are launched carrying up to 20 experiments.

How to get involved: REXUS/BEXUS is aimed at teams of university and higher education college students from across Europe. For your experiment to be considered for launch your team will need to submit a detailed project proposal.

The next call for experiment proposals will open in the summer of 2019! More information on how to get involved can be found here.


4. Fly Your Satellite!

Fly Your Satellite! Gives teams of university students across Europe the opportunity to design, build and test their cubesats with the aim to launch and deploy their satellites in space! Throughout the process teams are supported by ESA specialists and offered access to state of the art test facilities.

How to get involved: To be eligible your team needs to be made up of a minimum of 8 students with at least 4 being at masters or PhD level of study. Your team will also need a minimum of 2 supervisors. Once you have your team you will need to submit the CubeSat proposal form.

The current teams involved in the Fly Your Satellite programme are nearing the end of their Critical Design Review, check out the ESA website to follow the progress of the current teams and stay updated on when the next programme will begin!

For more information what is involved in this project please click here.


5. SatelLife Challenge

The SatelLife Challenge run by the UK Space Agency is looking for innovative idea proposals that have the potential to use data collected from space to benefit the economy, health or the environment. Ideas can take any form, previous year’s proposals included the use of GPS trackers to help increase the survival rate of heart attack victims and an app to warn people of approaching natural disaster, guide them to safety and alert emergency services

How to get involved: Entries can be made as a team or by individuals and are open to anyone between the ages of 11 and 22. Entries can be made in any format, whether that be a poster, video or any other way that effectively communicates the idea and shows the potential for future development.

Entries for the 2018 competition have now closed however keep an eye out for the 2019 competition!

More information about the challenge can be found here.


6. International Astronautical Congress Student Paper Competition

Every year the International Astronautical Federation runs the Student Paper Competition for undergraduates and postgraduates at the International Astronautical Congress. The British Interplanetary Society runs the selection of the UK’s two individual entrants. Those selected go on to compete at the IAC later that year.

How to get involved: Students will need to submit a one page abstract, maximum of 400 words, that describes the project or piece of work that you have undertaken that is related to space sciences, industry or technology.

Applications for the 2018 competition are now closed however more information on the competition and advice on writing an abstract can be found here.

Keep an eye out for the 2019 edition on the BIS website!

Taking part in student projects such as these is a great way to get hands on experience and get a feel for what it would be like to work in the space sector!


Emma Collier

Emma studies Physics with Astronomy at the University of Southampton.

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