Spaceport America Cup


Spaceport America Cup 2022

Join us as we host thousands of the worlds most ambitious collegiate rocketeers in a one of a kind event.

This challenge is closed

2022 Spaceport America Cup - Closing Awards Ceremony

This challenge is closed




Over 1,500 students and faculty will gather in Southern New Mexico for the fourth annual Spaceport America Cup in 2022.  Drawn by the opportunity to collaborate and compete at a world class spaceport facility, you represent the best and brightest from more than 150 institutions located all across the USA and around the world. 

Join us as we host thousands 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!


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


Challenge Updates

Updated Scoring results for the 2022 Spaceport America Cup

Aug. 7, 2022, 7:42 p.m. PDT by ESRA Executive Director

Over the last month, ESRA has done an extensive investigation on scoring issues and student team concerns. 

Upon further review, we found a number of discrepancies in the awarding of the efficient launch bonus. Unfortunately, because we had conflicting information between the launch spotter and recovery records, it was impossible to sort out the differences.  This issue has both helped some teams and disadvantaged others. 

Accordingly, and to be fair to all teams, we have decided to zero-out the bonus category for 2022.  By and large, this made no change to the category winners, with one exception where the runner-up did change.  Rather than remove the runner-up trophy from that school, we have decided to award a 2nd runner-up trophy in the 10K-SRAD-Hybrid/Liquid to McGill University.

Revised scores are posted on the ESRA website.

Posted Scores are Final

July 16, 2022, 1:30 p.m. PDT by Bill H -- Postflight

Hi Everyone, 

I'm happy to do my best to answer questions for your situational awareness or future use, but the posted scores are final.  

2022 Spaceport America Cup Awards Ceremony - Pre-Ceremony Live Stream has BEGUN!

July 16, 2022, 9:58 a.m. PDT by ESRA Executive Director

The Awards for the 2022 Spaceport America Cup brought to you by Sierra Space is today! July 16th. Please tune in!

You can tune in LIVE by clicking here:

#Rocket #ESRA #IREC #IREC15 #IREC2022 #SACup2022


Improve your 2023 Rocket Simulation Success - with Siemens

July 5, 2022, 1:09 p.m. PDT by ESRA Executive Director


Exciting news for teams who were unable to find their rocket

July 4, 2022, 9:11 a.m. PDT by ESRA Executive Director

Many teams were unable to recover their lost rockets.  ESRA and Spaceport America have listened to your requests for assistance.  Spaceport America security staff, a local high adventure hiking club and additional staff are organizing to have a large rocket search event very soon.  

If your team was unable to find your rocket, the search team will need as much information about the predicted location as possible to localize a possible landing location. Maps and GPS coordinates would be very helpful and greatly increase the chances of success.

A special forum on the HeroX system has been set up for teams to submit their search information, and a description of the rocket, parachute colors, etc.  This information will be forwarded to the search teams.  Updates on search status will be posted in the HeroX forums.  

Any found rockets will be shipped back to the team.  Teams will be responsible for all shipping expenses.