Spaceport America Cup


Spaceport America Cup 2021

Join us as we host hundreds of the worlds most ambitious collegiate rocketeers in a one of a kind event.
2021 Virtual Spaceport America Cup Conference Day 3

Challenge Overview


Over 1,500 students and faculty will gather in Southern New Mexico for the fourth annual Spaceport America Cup in 2021.  Drawn by the opportunity to collaborate and compete at a world class spaceport facility, you represented the best and brightest from more than 150 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 could interact with over a thousand 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 together the thousands of moving pieces to build the worlds largest 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!


Challenge Guidelines

Guidelines for Spaceport America Cup - Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) are hosted on our website! 

In particular, you'll want to review the following documents:

  • IREC Rules and Requirements Document
  • IREC Design, Test, and Evaluation Guide
  • Integrated Master Schedule

Updates 43

Challenge Updates

Final days to submit your 2022 Spaceport America Cup application

Oct. 14, 2021, 5:57 a.m. PDT by ESRA VP

ESRA has only received 30 applications so far even though there are well over 150 teams in our HeroX teams section.


To answer a very common question - YES - ALL 2020 and 2021 teams (including those who rolled over their applications) MUST SUBMIT A NEW APPLICATION!


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, do not wait until the last moment to submit these.  Don't miss out on this opportunity!

2022 Spaceport America Cup Registration has begun! Deadline is October 15th

Oct. 1, 2021, 1:26 p.m. PDT by ESRA VP

Reminder to all 2021 teams,  YOU MUST REGISTER FOR THE 2022 event or you will not be allowed to compete.  That includes teams who ROLLED OVER THEIR fees from 2021.


Register at

2022 Spaceport America Cup - Registration begins Oct 1st, 2021. Look for the new link to the 2022 HeroX site SOON!

Sept. 15, 2021, 11:15 a.m. PDT by ESRA VP

Mark your calendars and get your paperwork in order! Registration for the 2022 Spaceport America Cup is just around the corner.

Registration will be live on the HeroX platform Oct 1-15, 2021. Monitor the ESRA Facebook, website or any of the other social media platforms for additional details over the next week.

#spaceportamericacup #irec16 #sac2022 #soundingrockets #stem #space #spaceportamericacup2022 #collegerocketry #esrarocket #rockets #rocketscience #spaceportNM #engineering #aerospace #rocketcompetition #irec #irec2022 #IntercollegiateRocketEngineeringCompetition #Students #sponsors #spectators #10kSRAD #10kCOTS #30kCOTS #30kSRAD #payload #hybrids #liquids #solids


May be an image of text that says 'Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition ESRA SPACEPORT AMERICA CUP 2022 June 21-25, 2022 Las Cruces, NM USA Registration opens Oct 1-15, 2021 SPACEPORT AMERICA® CUP More information: 2022'

Hey! What ever happened to the patches and stickers for the 2021 Virtual Spaceport America Cup?

July 19, 2021, 6:14 p.m. PDT by ESRA VP

Beginning this week, ESRA has begun sending out packages of patches and stickers to the teams.

US based teams packages have been shipped via USPS and should be arriving within a week.

International teams will begin being shipped out next week.  Delivery will be via UPS and delivery times will vary.

Addresses were extracted from the original applications for 2021 (Awards Shipping Address).

If a package is returned to us for any reason (bad address, refused, etc), we will attempt to contact the team leads to determine next steps.  If the team updates their address and request we re-ship their package, they will be responsible for all shipping charges.


Cheers to everyone!   -Andy Berger

Virtual Cup Videos uploaded to ESRA Youtube channel - Please subscribe

July 3, 2021, 1:40 p.m. PDT by ESRA VP

With a great deal of effort, ESRA has managed to upload a majority of the Virtual Cup Keynotes, Technical Sessions, SDL Payload and Poster Q&A Sessions.

SDL Payload Challenge Reviews:


Forum 157

Challenge Forum

forum sections
total posts
forum sections

Registration Questions
Any questions or concerns relating to the application and approval process for teams
27 Threads
86 Posts

Rocketry Design Questions
Questions relating to general design and performance characteristics of a team's rocket. Note: ESRA cannot provide design advice to any team.
10 Threads
27 Posts

Rules and Requirements Questions
Specific questions about the DTEG or the Rules and Requirements documents.
40 Threads
154 Posts

International TRA Support
This section of the forum should be focused on questions relating to International teams who need TRA support to meet the L3 Flyer of Record and insurance requirements
4 Threads
24 Posts

13 Threads
32 Posts

6 Threads
21 Posts

2021 Virtual Spaceport America Cup
Questions about the upcoming event or specific information about a session.
7 Threads
22 Posts

July 26, 2021, 6:31 p.m. PDT
Latest Post by ESRA Competition Rules
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June 22, 2021, 7:14 a.m. PDT
Latest Post by ESRA Competition Rules
2 Replies

June 18, 2021, 1:20 p.m. PDT
Latest Post by Christopher HEMON
0 Replies

June 16, 2021, 3:04 p.m. PDT
Latest Post by Avi
0 Replies

June 15, 2021, 10:29 a.m. PDT
Latest Post by Osaid Syed
5 Replies

June 11, 2021, 9:57 p.m. PDT
Latest Post by Brophy
2 Replies

June 11, 2021, 9:30 p.m. PDT
Latest Post by ESRA Competition Rules
7 Replies

June 11, 2021, midnight PDT
Latest Post by Hannah Chaplin Laugaland
2 Replies

June 10, 2021, 12:04 p.m. PDT
Latest Post by ESRA Competition Rules
3 Replies

June 6, 2021, 9:15 a.m. PDT
Latest Post by ESRA Competition Rules
1 Reply
Teams 2K