rocket blasting off at the spaceport america cup

Spaceport Cup 2021 Goes Virtual

Spaceport America

February 16, 2021, Sierra County, NM — Spaceport America and partners Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) have announced that the 2021 Spaceport America Cup will be held as a virtual event on June 18-20, 2021.

The 2021 Spaceport America Cup will be an online competition and technical conference. Student teams from across the globe will complete to win technical awards and one team will be selected as the overall 2021 Virtual Spaceport America Cup winner. In addition, teams will participate in interactive poster session reviews, hear from special guest speakers, and participate in technical forums on a variety of topics. The virtual event will also provide industry sponsors with the opportunity yo interact with students for recruitment.

“The Spaceport America Cup is a highlight of our calendar and a special event the local community looks forward to hosting.” said Spaceport America’s Interim Executive Director Scott McLaughlin. “We hope that by making the competition virtual this year, teams that were selected to compete in-person for 2021 will be able to join us as planned without the restrictions due to COVID-19.We want to make sure the students do not miss out on the opportunity to showcase their hard work.”

Cliff Olmsted, President and Chairperson of the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) said “ESRA is very excited to host this virtual engineering competition that continues our tradition of strong US and International participation. We hope to see lots of teams join us from across the globe.”

The Spaceport America Cup is the world’s largest intercollegiate rocketry engineering contest (IREC) and has been held in New Mexico since 2017. Over 1,700 students and faculty come to Southern New Mexico for the annual IREC competition. Drawn by the opportunity to collaborate and compete at a world-class spaceport facility, they represent the best and brightest from more than 150 institutions located across the world.

The annual Spaceport America Cup was canceled in 2020 due to the global pandemic and the decision to make the event virtual for 2021 was made to accommodate the restrictions teams are facing across the globe.