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Base 11 Space Challenge

Base 11 Space Challenge

The Base 11 Space Challenge is a $1M+ prize for the first student-led team to design, build and launch a liquid-fueled rocket to space. Read Overview...

Are you ready to launch to space?


The Base 11 Space Challenge is a $1M + prize for a student-led team to design, build and launch a liquid-propelled, single stage rocket to an altitude of 100 kilometers (the Karman Line) by December 30, 2021.


The future of the economy resides in space and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) sectors.  Indeed, the global space industry is projected to top $3 trillion dollars in the next 30 years, and the White House has re-launched the National Space Council to help accelerate commercial space exploration.  Many posit that efficient and affordable space travel is essential to the human race. But the number one resource needed to support the space industry is human capital. The current aerospace talent pipeline is in crisis.

We want to dramatically increase and empower the STEM talent in the United States, and we believe you are the solution.

The Base 11 Space Challenge will motivate universities to bolster their rocketry programs and to empower students to learn far more than the theory of liquid propulsion systems by providing access to critical resources and to world-class experts.  Students will acquire expertise in rocket safety, learn how to navigate flight regulations, and develop the essential skills of teamwork and innovation that are most in demand by forward-looking companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, Google, Virgin Galactic, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Dassault Systèmes, and Boeing. Teams will be encouraged to conduct outreach and provide mentorship to community college and high school students to better develop the STEM talent pipeline that includes women and ethnicities traditionally underrepresented in STEM.

Teams that participate in this Challenge will gain real-world experience in engineering, prototyping, testing, failure analysis, data management, teamwork, collaboration, and innovation. Additionally, team members are guaranteed interviews with at least one corporate partner.

Base 11 has teamed with Dassault Systèmes, who will offer their 3D design and simulation software to university teams free of charge and will waive fees for student team members to earn industry-recognized SOLIDWORKS and Catia certifications.  


* The Base 11 Space Challenge is sponsored by National Rocketry League, LLC, a subsidiary of Base 11.


Base 11 is a nonprofit workforce and entrepreneur development company on a mission to solve one of the country’s biggest problems: The growing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent crisis fueled by the underrepresentation of women and ethnic minorities. Together with our partners, we are leading the STEM Revolution.

Our most revolutionary idea is this: that by fostering collaboration between forward-looking industry veterans and passionate, persistent students from high schools and colleges, we can transform high-potential, low-resource college and high school students into the STEM talent that industry so desperately needs. And in the process, we can transform lives and build a sustainable middle class for ALL Americans.

So what are you waiting for? Join the STEM Revolution.

Updates 19

Safety Training materials now available

Oct. 19, 2018, 10:31 a.m. PDT by Christine Byrd

Congratulations and thanks to the Safety Officers and their teammates who recently attended a full weekend of Safety Training. We had about 125 team members at three locations for about 14 hours of training. Whew! Everyone was engaged and attentive despite the long hours and long travel times, and many of the attendees asked for copies of the training materials to share with the rest of their teams. Happily, the following resources are now available:

Base 11's blog post about the training can be found here.

Important Updates Regarding Safety Factors

Oct. 13, 2018, 6 p.m. PDT by Christine Byrd

As mentioned in today’s Safety Training, we've made some updates regarding the safety factor requirements for the propellant tank. In summary, the safety factor on propellant tanks has been decreased to 1.5, but please review the documents for details. These changes are reflected in both the System Requirements and the Safety Guidelines.

System Requirements — Changes were made to the following sections:

  • 2.2 (the last two guidance documents listed) 
  • through (Propulsion System)

Safety Guidelines — Revisions were made to  the following sections:

  • 3.6.5 (Pressure Vessels)
  • 4.3 (Operating Pressures)
  • 4.8.2 (Pressure Ranges) 
  • 7.1.1 (Proof Pressure Testing)

The links to these documents have not changed. They are still available at: bit.ly/B11SystemReqs and bit.ly/B11Safety

As usual, please feel free to post questions in the Forum.

Special Message from NASA Astronaut Leland Melvin

Sept. 27, 2018, 8 a.m. PDT by Christine Byrd

Just a friendly reminder from astronaut Leland Melvin -- a huge supporter of the Base 11 Space Challenge -- that your Team Entry Form must be submitted via the HeroX website by Friday, Sept. 28, at 4:59 p.m. Pacific.  Don't wait until the last minute to submit your materials! Your files may take longer to upload than you expect, or your computer may freeze at the worst possible moment ... we've all been there.

Please note that we've made a couple updates to the Eligibility rules:

  • Part time students ARE permitted to participate
  • The language excluding "a person or entity under U.S. export controls or sanctions" has been revised.

Remember to RSVP for the Safety Training that will be held Oct. 13-14. Your Safety Officer plus one other team member must attend for your team to remain in the Challenge.

Congratulations to Oregon State University and Concordia University, the first two teams to formally submit their entries! We're looking forward to seeing everyone else joining the challenge this week!!

Blue Origin Internship Opportunity & Important Reminders

Sept. 24, 2018, noon PDT by Christine Byrd

Base 11 is collaborating with Blue Origin to offer TWO summer internships for Space Challenge Participants! Imagine spending your summer of 2019 learning from and working with leaders in aerospace at Blue Origin. Not only does Blue Origin want students who are passionate about space, but also students who already have hands-on, project-based learning experience in engineering -- which you obviously have! Also, like Base 11, Blue Origin also wants to foster an inclusive, diverse STEM workforce. 

Are you interested?  First, make sure you register for the Base 11 Space Challenge by the end of this week! Your Team Entry form is due by 4:59 p.m. Pacific on Sept. 28. In October, we will invite the Base 11 Space Challenge team members to apply for the internship opportunity at https://www.base11.com/summer.

Other important reminders for this week:

  • If your team will need a grace period for its proof of insurance, email spacechallenge@base11.com by Wednesday, Sept. 26.
  • Remember to have your Chief Safety Officer plus one additional person RSVP for  Mandatory In-Person Safety Training Oct. 13-14.
  • Tell your artsy friends about the Space Logo competition. The deadline has been extended to October 12.
  • All of your materials for the Base 11 Space Challenge Team Entry Form are due Friday, Sept. 28, at 4:59 p.m. Pacific.

As usual, keep posting your questions in the Forum.  We're excited to see everyone's Team Entry forms come in this week!

What's the official Space Challenge t-shirt going to look like?

Sept. 17, 2018, 2:25 p.m. PDT by Christine Byrd

The logo for the Base 11 Space Challenge will be on t-shirts, hats, patches and badges that you'll wear with pride.

You are probably too busy getting your Team Entry form together and worrying about building a rocket to even think about designing a logo.  So delegate! Invite your friends who are into art and design to submit a logo for the Space Logo contest. In addition to cash prizes, there will be a "crowd favorite" award that you'll get to vote on. 


To allow more K-12 classrooms to participate in designing a logo, the deadline has been extended to Oct. 12. Visit: www.herox.com/spacelogo

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