Fly a Rocket!

organised by

ESA Education Office

in Worldwide


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

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 perspectives. 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.

he unique opportunity is aimed at bachelors 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.