Spaceport America Cup


Spaceport America Cup 2023

Join us as we host thousands of the world's most ambitious collegiate rocketeers in a one-of-a-kind event.

This challenge is closed

Project Technical Report Due, School Participation Letter, Poster and Podium Materials

This challenge is closed




Over 1,500 students and faculty will gather in Southern New Mexico for the fourth annual Spaceport America Cup in June of 2023.  Drawn by the opportunity to collaborate and compete at a world class spaceport facility, you represent the best and brightest from more than 150 colleges and universities located across the USA and around the world. 

Join us as we host thousands of the world's 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 world's 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! 

You'll want to review the following documents:

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


Challenge Updates

DEADLINE in 3 Days - June 10th - Final Student Team Survey

June 7, 2023, 7:22 a.m. PDT by ESRA VP

Less than 25 teams have submitted this form as of today.


This survey is very similar to the first student team survey and is very easy to complete.  

ESRA requires a full, final listing of attending students with their TRA Member ID#'s.

Failure to complete this form will make your check in process VERY VERY SLOW.

You will need to download the template, complete it and submit it within this form.

One submission per team. website is down - This includes the liability waiver form

June 6, 2023, 8:37 a.m. PDT by ESRA VP

The webhost facility internet connection was cut and is being restored as we speak.

We will update everyone once the connection is restored.

Safety Reminder from the National Association of Rocketry - Rocket Prep Safety in Hotels. homes, etc.

June 6, 2023, 8:27 a.m. PDT by ESRA VP

From a recent incident at a NAR launch.

Please ensure your teams are extra safe while working on rockets away from the Vertical Launch Area (VLA).

Here's the message from Dr. Hochheimer:

Safety Minute:

I would like to bring up a safety issue that occurred over the weekend. This is intended to be a reminder to all about the importance of ensuring that onboard or component electronic systems should be operated and secured in a safe manner, on and off the flying field.

An incident happened at one of the hotels in town where some of the National Sport Launch attendees were staying. Please note, while the incident is still being investigated, I will not provide specific information about what happened. In brief, a high-power rocket motor accidently ignited in a hotel room. There were no serious injuries, but the room was damaged and guests at the hotel had to leave their rooms while the fire department controlled the situation and cleared the smoke. Let me remind all of important safety considerations:

  • Please avoid bringing high-power motors into hotel rooms, especially with ignitors inserted into the motors.
  • Do not assemble ejection charges in hotel rooms.
  • Do not assemble complex rockets in hotel rooms.
  • Treat assembled rocket motors, igniters, and ejection charges with care and high levels of safety.
  • Please, make sure that all electronics are turned off and disconnected from any igniters or ejection charges when not in a safe location.
  • Please understand the safe operation of all electronics you use.
  • Please ensure there are no igniters in any rocket motors, particularly high-power motors, unless on the pad or otherwise deemed safe at an outdoor location.
  • Please follow the NAR Model Rocket and High-Power Safety Codes on and off the flying field.

Safe and Appropriate Clothing Document - Requirements for the Vertical Launch Area

June 4, 2023, 7:27 a.m. PDT by ESRA VP

Please download this document and share it with your team. 

Proper Clothing for the Spaceport America Cup

This document provides student team members, staff and volunteers with a highly recommended style of clothing for dealing with the harsh desert environment out at Spaceport America's Vertical Launch Area.  The southern New Mexico desert can often reach temperatures in excess of 110F or 42C.  


Wearing inappropriate clothing such as flip flops, swimming attire, etc can lead to points deductions or even removal from the site.

Important Document for All Teams to review - 2023 SA Cup Integrated Master Schedule Document

June 3, 2023, 8:21 a.m. PDT by ESRA VP

This document defines the schedule for all teams and participants in the 2023 SA Cup including required deliverables in order to be considered "timely" in scoring. The impact of timeliness on scoring is described for each respective deliverable in the ​IREC Rules & Requirements Document

Furthermore, this document integrates other information useful to participants, such as the deadlines for early, on-time, or late payment of fees, due dates for required waivers/forms, and the detailed event schedule of the Spaceport America Cup itself. This information is updated on a regular basis throughout the year, so participants should check regularly to verify they are working with the most current version.

The final section of this document is critical for teams during the event.  Please print these pages out and add reminders to your teams' schedule while you are in New Mexico.

Scroll down to Integrated Master Schedule and download the latest PDF