Base 11

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.
Hot Fire Testing Documents Due

Challenge 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 62

Challenge Updates

COVID-19's Effect on Base 11 Space Challenge Teams

March 26, 2020, 9:56 a.m. PDT by Christine Byrd

We know this is a difficult period for everyone, and we wish all of our Base 11 students and their families health and safety in this remarkable time.  

All  teams have been affected by important safety measures put in place to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The May 22 deadline for the Phase 2 reports will need to be extended. However, with the situation changing day by day, we cannot predict when teams will be able to return to their regular operations, and we will wait a while to set a revised deadline.  We are putting our heads together to consider how the challenge can be adjusted to accommodate the current situation.

In the meantime, there are plenty of positive actions you can take to hone your skills and prepare yourself for the future. A few ideas include:

  • Work on side projects using Solidworks (here's how to access Solidworks from home)
  • Complete the online Safety Training if you haven't already -- and make sure all new members to your team complete it. (Don't forget to log it in your training log, which is due with the Phase 2 reports)
  • Enhance your LinkedIn profile so you stand out on the job market. Be sure to add your hands-on experience with your rocketry team, list software you've learned such as 3DEXPERIENCE, and state that you are a competitor in the Base 11 Space Challenge
  • Join the Base 11 Victory Circle private group on LinkedIn (here).

Thank you all for your hard work and dedication now, as always. This is a challenging time, but we will get through it together. And with a little creativity and innovation, we'll come out even stronger on the other side.


Changes to Upcoming Deadlines

Feb. 12, 2020, 9 a.m. PST by Christine Byrd

We're pushing back a few of the upcoming deadlines to ensure teams have sufficient time to integrate their learnings from the static test fire reports into upcoming deliverables. The Guidelines and Timeline have been updated to reflect these revised dates:

  • NEW deadline for the Phase 2 Reports is May 22, 2020.  This is a mandatory report. We are working on finalizing the requirements of the report to publish and share with the teams well ahead of the new deadline.  We will post an update when the submission form is available. The reports will be evaluated on a rolling basis as they come in, so you are welcome to submit prior to May 22 deadline.
  • NEW deadline for the Static Test Fire Reports is Sept. 1, 2020.  Please remember, this is an optional report, but there are $50,000 in cash prizes available for the winners.

Regarding the Static Test Fire Requests, the majority of teams have received feedback on their submissions, but a handful are still waiting for feedback. The Safety Council and evaluators from industry (Firefly, Blue Origin and SpaceX) are working diligently to provide the feedback to all of the teams. 

Thank you.

Reminder: Safety Logs and Training Logs are Mandatory

Jan. 30, 2020, 2:30 p.m. PST by Christine Byrd

The Base 11 Space Challenge requires Safety Logs and Training Logs to be kept updated at all times.  

Maintaining these logs is the responsibility of the Safety Officer for each team.

1. Safety log template.  Teams should record all safety incidents, including near-misses, and documents remedial action(s) taken to prevent recurrence in this log. A team that is not reporting any safety incidents is likely not taking safety seriously. Incidents and near misses are bound to occur and should be recorded, reviewed, learned from, and prevented from re-occurring.

2. Training log template.  All team members  are  required to complete the online safety training as an introductory training course. When members complete the training, it should be recorded in the training log. However, this introductory training is not intended to be be the only training or safety briefings your team will complete. Your campus EH&S and your rocketry team will likely have other training sessions and safety briefings. Those need to be recorded in the training log, as well.

Both the Safety Log and the Training Log are required to be uploaded with interim updates and report deadlines, but should be up-to-date and accurate at all times throughout the year.


Launch Rail information

Jan. 22, 2020, 10:16 a.m. PST by ESRA VP

Base11 plans to utilize the Friends of Amateur Rocketry Microcosm launcher.


Information on this launch pad can be found at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry website:


We are not able to provide detailed schematics or drawings of the pad.  There is a PDF file with the sizing details of the rocket launch connectors that attach to your rocket.  


Contact FAR for any additional questions.

Reminder: Static Test Fire Requests Due Today

Nov. 29, 2019, 9:30 a.m. PST by Christine Byrd

Just a friendly reminder that your team's static test fire request is due today at 4:59 p.m. Pacific time.  Details about this deadline can be found here.

We certainly hope this isn't the case, but if your team has decided to withdraw from the competition, please send us a note at so that we know not to expect a static test fire request from you.

Thank you, and good luck!

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