Apply now for the 2022 European CanSat Competition

Registration for the 2022 European CanSat Competition is now open! Teams made up of 4 to 6 secondary school students, aged 14-19 years old, from ESA Member States, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia are invited to participate.

In the last two years, the CanSat project had to run differently, switching to virtual events throughout ESA member states. The COVID-19 restrictions meant that CanSat participants had to change the way they worked and adapt to challenging circumstances as they couldn’t physically gather to build their CanSat. We would like to express our appreciation to the teams involved during this challenging time. This year, however, we hope to gather physically to launch as many CanSats as ever!

What is CanSat?

Up close look at a CanSat

The European CanSat Competition is an ESA Education project that promotes STEM literacy amongst young European students through project-based learning. A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can. The team’s challenge is to fit all the major subsystems of a satellite inside this minimal volume, launched by a small rocket up to an altitude of 1 km. As the CanSat descends, its mission begins.

Every participating CanSat team will have to accomplish two missions: a mandatory primary mission to transmit and collect air temperature and pressure data at least once a second by radio communication; the secondary mission is completely open to the students’ imagination. Your secondary mission could be exploring a new planet, analysing earth’s atmosphere, developing a rover to fit inside the CanSat, or anything else you can think of.

66 students took part in the first CanSat competition over a decade ago. Throughout the years, its success has steadily grown. Currently, more than 1500 students take part in 19 national competitions in participating countries!

How to Apply?

There are two ways to apply for the European CanSat Competition, depending on which country you are from and whether your country hosts its own national competition. To apply, see which one of the two options below applies:

• If you are from Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia or Sweden, you have to send your application directly to ESA via this link. One team from each country will be selected. The deadline for direct applications to ESA from these countries is 3 December 2021.
• If your country is hosting a national competition, you must apply to participate in your national competition. If you win the national competition, you will automatically be granted a place in the European CanSat Competition. In the 2021-2022 school year, CanSat National Competitions will take place in: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and The UK. In these cases, apply directly via your national organiser’s website.

CanSat first place prize

The 1st ranked team from each of the national competitions, along with the teams selected directly by ESA, will participate in the European launch campaign, which will take place from 20 to 25 June 2022. The location* of the European CanSat Competition will be announced in the beginning of 2022.  Most of the campaign costs, including accommodation and meals, will be covered by ESA; however, the flights to the location will need to be covered by the participants.

Download the 2022 CanSat Competition Guidelines for full eligibility criteria, rules and other important information. ESA will also be organising a webinar to support students and their CanSat missions – keep an eye out for further information. See the timeline for key competition dates.

Find out more about the 2022 European CanSat Competition and take inspiration from the previous editions on our dedicated CanSat website and Facebook page. Have a look at the photo and video galleries from previous CanSat competitions to see what’s involved and how much the student teams enjoyed the competition! For any questions about the competition, do not hesitate to contact us at

ESA is looking forward to welcoming your team to the 2022 European CanSat Competition. Good luck to everyone taking part. We hope to see you there!

If you want to know more about the ESA education activities register here to join us for a live Teach with Space 2021-2022 Information Session, 22 September at 17:00 CEST. We will walk-through each of the annual ESA school projects, providing you with everything you need to know – how to apply, how to get started, and more. In this session we will also announce the new ESA Teach with Space online trainings opportunities for primary and secondary teachers and educators, which will open for registrations soon. These trainings will cover a range of online tools and classroom resources, facilitated by live interactions and complementary Q&A segments.

* Disclaimer: Plans to host a physical CanSat gathering are subject to COVID-19 developments.