Preparing for UK Space Race

27th February 2023
BY Tom de Vrieze and Michael Yan, Sixth Form pupils

Run by the European Space Agency, the UK CanSat competition gives students an opportunity to work on a space project. The objective is to design and build a satellite within the volume of a regular can. The satellite does not actually stay in orbit but the aim is to simulate a real satellite and integrate core functions. These functions include the primary mission of being able to measure and transmit data for the air pressure and temperature while the CanSat falls and a secondary mission that is left open to choice.  The initial stages of the competition are very technological and theoretical but once the Planning Review is reviewed by the competition organisers, the team can start to realize their plan and are given a space at one of the various testing sites around the country. 

Winchester has two teams competing this year, each comprising six Year 12 pupils, supported by Physics teachers Matt Rogers and Jeremy Douglas. 

The images below show the teams' initial ideas. Figure 1: Shell with Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi Camera Module design. Figure 2: Radio receiver prototype.


Next phase

On 13 March the teams will attend the regional rocket launch event at Cranfield Ordnance Test and Evaluation Centre where they will be able to test their models. A short film from last year's launch, available via the link below, explains more about the competition.

Team 2 testing out their parachute's capabilities

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