Spaceport America Cup


Spaceport America Cup 2024

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



Over 1,700 students and faculty will gather in southern New Mexico for the 7th annual Spaceport America Cup in June of 2024.  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 1,700 university STEM students from top ranked universities and colleges in a professional and competitive setting. Not only can your organization interact with them face to face but you can also learn about how their aerospace hardware performs in real world conditions. Finally, you will help make possible an event which inspires the best possible candidates for your company! 

As a Volunteer...

You will join a highly motivated and talented ESRA 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 you at the Spaceport America Cup! 

As a Judge...

You will join a group of respected experts and professionals who interact with the student teams to evaluate and score the deliverables, including technical design documents, overall team performance and launch success.  This team determines who will receive the coveted Genesis Trophy as the Overall Winner of the Spaceport America Cup.

As a Student... 

You will demonstrate your hard work on an international stage, in front of thousands 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

Less than a month until we're all in New Mexico! - Clothing items to pack for the Desert

May 25, 2024, 12:43 p.m. PDT by ESRA Executive Director

Team leaders - Pass this along to your team members who are attending

  • This is a harsh, hot, dry, desert environment with potentially dangerous wildlife. 
  • Temperatures can reach 110 F (42 C)!   Team members look out for each other! 
  • Dehydration injuries happen every year. BE PREPARED!  WATER WATER WATER!!! 
  • Getting a headache?  THAT'S A BIG SIGN OF DEHYDRATION - Quickly drink a whole bottle of water to make it go away
  • Recovery team members need to have HARD SOLED shoes or hiking boots.  Normal tennis shoes will not keep the large bush thorns from penetrating your foot 
  • Everyone should be drinking significant amounts of water. 
  • Any team members wearing inappropriate/unsafe clothing will be asked to correct it immediately. Failure to comply will lead to points being deducted/you may be asked to leave.


  • Mandatory clothing for anyone recovering a rocket 
  • Lightweight, Long Pants (Nylon/Poly) 
  • Sun shade hat (Large brimmed) 
  • Hiking Boots, Tennis shoes (Must be closed Toe) must have HARD SOLES
  • Long sleeve, fishing-style shirt Desert wildlife to avoid: 
    • Tarantulas 
    • Snakes 
    • Scorpions

Clothing to AVOID (You may be asked to change your attire if you wear inappropriate clothing): 

  • Open toed shoes, flip-flops, sandals 
  • Sleeveless T-shirts, tank tops, half-tops 
  • Shorts 

Additional Items to carry with you: 

  • Water, lots of it! Always have water with you. Your team should bring cases of water with you everyday
  • First Aid Kit (for your group) 
  • Sun Tan Lotion – SPF 45+ (apply every 2 hours) 
  • Insect Repellant 
  • Sunglasses

REMINDER - NO ENERGETICS in the Convention Center EVER

May 24, 2024, 1:20 p.m. PDT by ESRA Executive Director

There are no energetics (rocket motor propellant, black powder, CO2 cartridges or similar) allowed in the Convention Center AT ANY TIME.

If your team picks up your motor from a motor vendor, you CANNOT bring it in the building.  And don't leave these items in your vehicle in the hot sun.



May 22, 2024, 8:18 p.m. PDT by ESRA Executive Director

Camping onsite at the VLA (for Hybrid and 2-stage teams ONLY)

After several years of patient prodding, Spaceport America has agreed to allow Hybrid and 2-Stage teams to camp at the VLA.  Hybrids and 2-Stagers require significant prep time at the Pad areas. Camping is the safest way to allow this so the team can get a very early morning jump start on their launch prep so they can launch earlier in the day.

Camping is allowed with the following requirements:

  1. Only 6 team members per team are allowed to camp
  2. Camping is only permitted Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. 
  3. Once your project has flown, you can no longer camp onsite
  4. Your team will be assigned a camping pad site near the ESRA Leaders
  5. There will be no open fires, no charcoal.  Propane grills are allowed
  6. Once the sun sets, all team members should be at the camp site, quietly working on their project, or resting. Security will likely not allow you to return to the campsite after 9pm. 
  7. Misbehavior, making poor choices, disrupting others, etc. will get your team removed and possibly all student teams. 
  8. Your team must send an email to with the listing of members who will be camping

Reminder - Mentors, Flyers of Record and Faculty Advisor who will be attending the Cup NEED TO REGISTER

May 22, 2024, 7:38 p.m. PDT by ESRA Executive Director

Student Team Leaders, please forward this to all of your Mentors, Faculty Advisors and Flyers of Record who will be attending the 2024 Spaceport America Cup.  Only 60 teams have submitted a registration so far.

  • Mentors, Faculty Advisors and Flyers of Record who will be attending the event must register by completing the google form below.  
  • This registration form is strictly for persons who ARE NOT ESRA VOLUNTEERS.  ESRA Volunteers are already registered.
  • There is no fee for these rocketry supporters but they must complete the simple form and the liability waiver.
  • The submitted information is used to create badging credentials and having their T-shirts available at registration
  • Failure to complete this registration will cause significant delays in getting your registration credentials on Monday.

Here's the link for registration -

Reminder - Team leaders please forward to team members

May 18, 2024, 11:19 a.m. PDT by ESRA Executive Director

ESRA is responding to requests from students over the last few years.

We understand that many team members work very hard on their team's project but unfortunately cannot attend the Cup.  And we agree that these students should have the opportunity to receive some memorabilia from the competition.

For the 2024 Cup, ESRA will be offering a new option for these "non-attending" students to purchase a souvenir "swag" bag similar to what the attending students receive as part of their $75 rocketeer fee.


What is included with this souvenir "swag bag" ?

  1. Official 2024 Spaceport America Cup Student Rocketeer T-Shirt 
  2. Official 2024 Spaceport America Cup Mission Patch
  3. Official 2024 Spaceport America Cup Mission Sticker
  4. Official 2024 Spaceport America Cup Backpack with logos, etc. This is a NICE backpack!
  5. Other misc items items offered up by our sponsors and vendors.

How much will this souvenir "swag bag" cost?

  • The 2024 Spaceport America Cup non-attending Student souvenir "swag bag" will cost $40 per non-attending student

I'm interested!  How do I purchase a 2024 Spaceport America Cup non-attending Student Souvenir Swag Bag?

  • An announcement will be made very soon with additional details and photos of the items
  • This announcement will have a link to purchase the item from the website
  • You must select the correct shirt size.  ESRA will make every effort to ensure you receive the correct size.

IMPORTANT!  ESRA will not SHIP these items.  

  • They must be picked up by your team leader. ESRA will not be responsible for lost or delivery failures.  Coordinate the collection and delivery with your Team Lead.

IMPORTANT!  If you are ATTENDING, you will receive one of these as part of your rocketeer fee.  You do not need to purchase one.  These are strictly for non-attending student competitors.