Registrations for the 2021-22 UK CanSat Competition have now closed. Registrations for the 2022-23 competition will open in June 2022.

CanSat UK competition winners 2022

The UK CanSat Competition Finals were held across three days at the National STEM Learning Centre in York, and at Elvington Airfield. 120 teams signed up to take part in the competition this year, and eight of those made it to the final after six months of hard work and dedication designing, building and coding their own space project.

Winners: St Johns School, Leatherhead


Team Eagles designed their CanSat to determine the suitability of Exoplanets for supporting human life and to calculate human survival using a range of sensors. As well as air pressure and temperature they measured Oxygen, CO2, humidity, UV light and Carbon Monoxide. Their CanSat then looked at the data collected, scored the risks and decided if the Exoplanet was suitable for further research.

Second Place: WMG Academy


Team Boreas wanted to use their CanSat to better understand the state of permafrost in the artic circle, and the release of greenhouse gases that it holds as the permafrost melts. Their CanSat could measure CO2, Methane, ground temperature, the nature of the terrain it landed on, the physical location of the CanSat and the levels of light being shone on the ground and being absorbed. Their CanSat had retractable landing legs that could move the CanSat upright if it landed on its side, and solar panels on a rotating platform that moved to the direction of most sunlight.

Third Place: St Johns School, Marlborough


Team EnviroSat designed their CanSat to use an infrared thermal imaging camera and a particle matter sensor to prove the geographical theory of the “Urban Heat Island" effect, which is when carbon dioxide concentration in the air goes up, temperature also goes up, and vice versa. Using a particulate matter sensor they took readings of CO2 levels, along with other gases in the atmosphere, as their CanSat made its descent. They then compared readings to the infrared thermal images taken by the CanSat to try and find a correlation to support their theory. 


What is a CanSat?

The CanSat competition provides students with the opportunity to have practical experience working on a small-scale space project.

Aimed at school and college students over the age of 14, CanSat is a European Space Agency competition.

A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can. The challenge for 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 challenge

There are three main challenges for students competing in the CanSat competition:

  1. To fit all major subsystems found in a satellite, including power, sensors and communications, into the volume and shape of a soft drink can. 
  2. To provide a parachute to ensure the can survives the landing.
  3. To carry out scientific experiments and transmit in-flight data to an Earth-based computer. 

What are the benefits of taking part?

The CanSat competition offers a unique opportunity for students to have their 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. 

ESERO-UK organises an annual UK CanSat competition, the winner of which will be invited to compete in the European CanSat competition. 

Who can apply?

The competition is open to teams from any school or college in the UK. Team members must be over the age of 14 at the time of the competition. 

What support will you get?

Each team's teacher will be provided with a kit and an introduction course from ESERO-UK. There are also a number of free online resources that can be used to support teams entering the competition. 

Teams can request a STEM Ambassador, who can support the design and build process. 

When applying, please read our guidelines carefully.  The deadline for expressions of interest for the 2021-22 competition is 01 October 2021.

Download a free UK spaceflight poster

Help spread the word that, very soon,  payloads will be launching to space from UK spaceports! We worked with CanSat competition funders LaunchUK to create this poster, which publicises the UK’s planned spaceflight programme. 

Get involved