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


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.  

FINAL, FINAL Reminder to vote for Tripoli Board of Directors

May 17, 2024, 8:17 a.m. PDT by ESRA Executive Director


Please consider voting for Dr. Ken Overton, Rick Maschek and Chris Nilsen who are all running and are active ESRA Volunteers!  

Quick Q&A with Ken Overton: 

<From Tripoli HQ>

This year's election of directors is underway, with a deadline of June 1.  We have a group of seven well-qualified candidates who have volunteered to serve our organization, and all we have to do is select three.  At this point in the election, about 10% of the 7,900 members have voted.

Invitations to vote, including instructions for submitting your ballot online, are sent via email to all eligible voters from our partner,  These instructions will be sent again shortly to all who have not yet voted. 

If you have not received your personal invitation to vote, please double check your spam folder. If you need assistance, please send me an email and I'll help you out.

Thanks again for casting your vote.

Bill Riley
Tripoli Election Committee Chair

3rd Progress Report and Video Flight Safety Reviews Update

May 13, 2024, 3:09 p.m. PDT by ESRA Executive Director

There was some confusion about coordinating the video flight safety reviews.

ESRA has updated our documentation on to resolve this confusion.


  • Once the 3rd Progress Report form is submitted, your team leaders should contact your safety reviewers to  coordinate a good time/date for the video review.
  • Teams will be responsible for setting up and publicizing the video review details (link, date, time). Systems such as Zoom, Google, Webex, etc. are appropriate for running the video conference. Invitations should be sent to safety reviewers, Flyer of Record and Mentors.  Safety Reviewers and FoR are required to attend.
  • The video must be recorded and the MP4 video file to be sent to .  Do NOT send a link to a Youtube channel.  it must be the actual video file from the recording.