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 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 and its mission begins: to carry out a scientific experiment and achieve a safe landing.
CanSats offer a unique opportunity for students to have a first practical experience of a real space project. They are responsible for all aspects: selecting the mission objectives, designing the CanSat, integrating the components, testing, preparing for launch and then analysing the data.
The competition is currently closed. Entries for the 2018 competition will open in May 2017.
Entrants must be over 14 years of age at the time of the competition and to be selected please complete our online entry form and read through our guidelines carefully.
ESA wishes to foster and support a broad range of CanSat activities across its member states, in order to give European students their first experience of a real space-related project. ESERO-UK organises an annual UK CanSat Competition, the winner of which goes on to compete in the European CanSat Competition.