Spaceport America Cup

Spaceport America Cup 2020

Spaceport America Cup 2020

The world's largest intercollegiate rocket engineering competition.
2nd Progress Report Due

Challenge Overview


Over 1,500 students and faculty will gather in Southern New Mexico for the fourth annual Spaceport America Cup in 2020.  Drawn by the opportunity to collaborate and compete at a world class spaceport facility, you represented the best and brightest from more than 70 institutions located all across the USA and around the world. 

Join us as we host hundreds of the worlds most ambitious collegiate rocketeers  in a one of a kind event. Part academic conference and part design-build-fly style competition, the Spaceport America Cup has something to offer students, faculty, industry representatives, and amateur aerospace aficionados alike.


The future beckons. 
​How will you answer the call?

Whether you are an academic, an industry representative, a retired professional, or simply a passionate amateur supportive of young minds who seek new horizons... there are many ways you may become a part of an event impacting the future of aerospace...

As a Sponsor...

You will meet with hundreds of talented STEM students from top ranked schools in a professional setting. You will see both them and their hardware perform in real world conditions. Furthermore, you will be helping make possible an event which helps make the best possible candidates for your company! 

As a Volunteer or Judge...

You will join the highly motivated team which brings order to the mess of small puzzle pieces required to build the worlds biggest collegiate rocket engineering conference and competition. From directing crowds to directing launches, and everything in-between, we need your volunteerism at the Spaceport America Cup! 

As a Student... 

You will demonstrate your hard work on an international stage, in front of hundreds of your peers, professors, and prospective employers. You will engage in design-build-fly style rocket and payload engineering competitions in a professional setting, at world class facilities, where the sky is not the limit!

Updates 32

Challenge Updates

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE - DO NOT cancel your COTS rocket motor orders

March 25, 2020, 8:50 a.m. PDT by ESRA VP

ALL TEAMS PLEASE NOTE - Our approved motor vendors are being severely financially impacted by the cancellation. Please consider what our event would be like if there were no motor vendors available...

<From Steve Shannon, President of Tripoli Rocketry Association>
"If you’ve already ordered your motors and if your dealer has received them, please do not cancel your order and leave your dealer stuck with a financial obligation and no income to pay for it. Our sport is a small market and the dealers are already financially impacted. Instead, please consider paying for the motors.

If you have no place to store them, leave them at the dealer or talk to your local Tripoli Prefect to see if they can help find safe storage."

2020 Spaceport America Cup CANCELLED

March 24, 2020, 12:19 p.m. PDT by Cliff Olmsted

To all Teams: Spaceport America and the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) have made the difficult decision to cancel the fourth annual Spaceport America Cup due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The decision was made based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for canceling large events in order to keep students, spectators and sponsors safe and healthy.  We are extremely proud of all of the hard work and progress all of you have made up to this point and hope to see all of you next year. 

Refunds will be made available available to teams who request them HOWEVER the recommended option is to request to credit this year’s paid fees to cover next year’s fees. This will secure your team’s invitation to compete in the Spaceport America Cup for next year. Any teams who request a refund will not have a reserved spot to compete in the Cup, but are still encouraged to apply again next year. 

A new form is now available titled "2020 Spaceport America Cup Cancellation Preference".  All teams are asked to complete the HeroX form to indicate how they would like to proceed.  

We urge all of you to follow your local guidelines to stay safe during this pandemic, and we look forward to launching with you again after the crisis has been resolved.   If you have any further questions, feel free to comment on this post, email at, or send a direct message on any of our social media channels.

Please see the Spaceport America and ESRA  joint press release.

International teams seeking official Invitation Letters for travel permits

March 15, 2020, 10:44 a.m. PDT by ESRA VP

Any international teams seeking an official 2020 Spaceport America Cup Invitation Letter should send a formal request to Susan Raitt.

Her email address is

Spaceport America and ESRA Joint Statement Regarding Spaceport America Cup 2020 and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

March 12, 2020, 7:29 p.m. PDT by ESRA VP

Spaceport America and ESRA Joint Statement Regarding Spaceport America Cup 2020 and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Many teams have been asking about Spaceport America Cup 2020 and the effects of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.  We are aware that many teams across the world are impacted by school closures, travel restrictions, and other precautions to limit the spread of this virus.  Spaceport America and the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) continue to monitor events with respect to the outbreak. 

At this time, we are not cancelling the Spaceport America Cup competition; however, we are meeting weekly to discuss and take appropriate actions as global events unfold.  Please see the linked press release and we will post updates if the competition is affected.


Click here for additional information and the official press release.

Onsite Rocketry Vendors for 2020 Spaceport America Cup

March 3, 2020, 1:42 p.m. PST by ESRA VP

We'd like to announce and ask that all IREC teams support our onsite vendors. These organizations are there for you and all of your rocketry needs.  Forget an item?  Break something important?  These vendors will save your BACON!

If you're an international team and not sure how to get your commercial motor ordered and delivered.  These vendors have you covered!






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