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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 43

March 22nd Deadline | University Authorization + Insurance

Feb. 8, 2019, 9:24 a.m. PST by Tia Tucker


There are only SIX WEEKS left to submit your Phase 1 Preliminary Design Report for the Base 11 Space Challenge. The early bird definitely gets the worm - so don't put it off! Be sure to have at least 75% of your submission complete a full week before the deadline for maximum flexibility. 


Your submission WILL NOT BE REVIEWED if your team has any outstanding items.  That means you have 6 weeks to finalize outstanding University authorization and Insurance.  It's time to roll up those sleeves! 


We'd hate to think you worked hard on a submission, just to miss the deadline by a hair (that's right - no late-night, sad email exceptions - the cut-off is real, folks!)


All that aside, thanks so much to all of you for your interest. Crowdsourcing is nothing without the crowd, and well, that's you. Yeah, you.  

We can't wait to see what the winning solution looks like.

Best of luck to all!



Launch Rail FAQ available

Jan. 30, 2019, 4:17 p.m. PST by Christine Byrd

We have answers to your frequently asked questions about the Microcosm launch pad that will be provided for teams' official space shot attempts. Click here to read the FAQs. (And scroll down, the FAQs about the launch rail are toward the bottom.) As always, please share your additional questions with us in the forum.

Static Test Fire RSVP

Jan. 29, 2019, 8:15 a.m. PST by Christine Byrd

Join us to experience a static test fire and safety demonstration at Firefly Aerospace!

Static Test Fire Demonstration

Saturday, March 30, 2019

10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Hosted by

Firefly Aerospace

1320 Arrow Point Dr Suite 109, Cedar Park, TX 78613

Click here to RSVP 



Austin-Bergstrom Airport is about a 45 minute drive from Cedar Park, Texas, where Firefly is located.  Several hotels are located within a 10 minute walk of the the Firefly Headquarters. Firefly will provide bussing for students from HQ to the test site, which is about 30 minutes away.



There are a number of hotels nearby. We recommend the Candlewood Suites, which is a short walk from Firefly HQ.  All of the rooms are suites, making it easy for groups of 2 to 4 students to share a single suite. We expect to have a discount code available, and will share that info here.


What to Expect

We'll begin with a tour of the Firefly Aerospace headquarters in Cedar Park.  Firefly staff will share details about their approach to safety and answer questions. We'll then head by bus out to the testing facility for a tour and to watch a live test fire of one of Firefly's engines.  Lunch will be served, and time will be included for socializing with other teams and with staff members.


Who Should Attend

Attendance at the static test fire demo is optional but strongly encouraged.  The Chief Safety Officer and members of the propulsion team are especially encouraged to attend. Space is limited at the facility, so each team will be limited to sending 4 team members. (If space permits, the training may be opened to additional team members.)


Questions? Please post them below or email spacechallenge@base11.com.


Congrats to Beach Launch

Jan. 23, 2019, 4:26 p.m. PST by Christine Byrd

Congrats to Beach Launch for the recent coverage of their rocket launch!  If you haven't seen the news, you can view the articles at base11spacechallenge.org/media.

If your participation in the Base 11 Space Challenge has been covered by a local media, let us know so we can share your good news with all of our followers on social media! You can either email us at spacechallenge@base11.com or tag #B11SpaceChallenge on your social media. Thanks!

Launch Rail Update

Jan. 16, 2019, 2 p.m. PST by Christine Byrd

Please design your rocket assuming a 60-foot launch rail. We identified a Microcosm launch pad at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry site that we can provide for the Base 11 Space Challenge launches. You can view more about it on this webpage.  

Please note that the Base 11 Space Challenge launches will still take place in New Mexico at Spaceport America, even though this rail calls the Mojave Desert home.

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