EuRoC 2024: out of 25 shortlisted teams,
nine are first-timers

The competition organised by the Portuguese Space Agency returns to Ponte de Sor and the Santa Margarida Military Camp in October. There is a new Portuguese team on the EuRoC shortlist.

Now in its fifth edition, the European Rocketry Challenge (EuRoC) is once again setting the bar high. A total of 25 European teams have been shortlisted for the competition, which is scheduled to return to the municipalities of Ponte de Sor and Constância, in the central region of Portugal, between October 9th and 15th. Organised and promoted by the Portuguese Space Agency, EuRoC had its first edition in 2020, with a total of six teams.

This year’s competition welcomes several returnees, but also a significant number of first-timers – almost a third of the total. For instance, in 2024, the ULAS HiPR (University of Limerick Aeronautical Society High-Powered Rocketry) team will be the first Irish team to be shortlisted for EuRoC.

There are also two new teams from Norway – USN Horizon and Ignite UiT – as well as a first-timer from Denmark, Als Rocketry Club. The same applies to two of the three Spanish teams shortlisted for EuRoC 2024: BiSKY Team, who attended the first edition of EuRoC, and LEEM (Laboratorio para Experimentación en el Espacio y Microgravedad). The Spanish contingent is completed by the returnees STAR (Student Team for Aerospace and Rocketry).

ASTG, last year’s edition champions, will return to EuRoC this October. © Portuguese Space Agency/ Atelier Obscura

Switching the focus to Portugal, the northern Porto Space Team will make their debut, while the Rocket Experiment Division (RED), from the Instituto Superior Técnico, will once again make the shortlist for the EuRoC. The first Portuguese rocketry team to launch its rocket in the competition will once again be trying to win the EuRoC Award, after two consecutive years in second place in the general classification table.

“It’s very positive to see that a new Portuguese team has been shortlisted for this year’s EuRoC. It’s the fourth to make the cut,” says Marta Gonçalves, one of EuRoC’s Project Managers at the Portuguese Space Agency. “More and more teams from various universities, both Portuguese and others, are training to apply for EuRoC. This goes to show that taking part in this competition is a goal that drives the students, inspiring them and making them more capable. Thanks to EuRoC, we get more motivated students and better-prepared professionals,” she adds.

EuRoC’s co-manager, Inês d’Ávila, who is responsible for Safety and Space Transportation projects at the Portuguese Space Agency, believes that this year’s edition “will be one of consolidation, after several years of growth”. “We have 25 shortlisted teams, and our main goal is for all of them to be ready to launch and for us to be able to achieve the highest level of efficiency in the competition’s history. We want teams to be better prepared, more technically daring, to emphasise safety, and not neglect innovation. It’s not easy, but the level of demand in the fifth edition is higher,” she points out.


The United Kingdom is the most represented country

Also making their debut is Italy’s ICARUS PoliTo DART, from the Polytechnic Institute of Turin – the same school as the already experienced PoliTo Rocket Team. Also returning from Italy are the champions of the 2022 edition of the EuRoC, the Skyward Experiment Division, who, despite being selected in 2023, failed to launch their rocket. Speaking of champions, the winners of last year’s EuRoC Prize, Austria’s Aerospace Team Graz, will also be taking part. From the same country, the TU Wien Space Team will also be returning.

The most represented country in this year’s EuRoC is the United Kingdom, with four teams competing. First-timers Project Sunride, from Sheffield, will be accompanied by their very experienced compatriots: ICRL (Imperial College London Rocketry), HyPower Bristol and Bath Rocket Team.

Germany will once again be represented by WARR Rocketry and by TU Darmstadt Space Technology, who will be competing for the first time. From neighbouring Poland, PoliWRocket and AGH Space Systems will once again be taking part. Sweden’s AESIR were also shortlisted, as were Hungary’s BME Suborbitals. The list is completed by Delft Aerospace, from the Netherlands.

Ricardo Conde, President of the Portuguese Space Agency, believes that EuRoC “contributes to Portugal continuing its path of affirmation as a technological, modern and entrepreneurial country and that it is capable of showing that there is room for its young people to grow”.

On October 9th and 10th, the Ponte de Sor Aerodrome will host the competing teams, who will set up in the paddock, where they will prepare their projects. The launches will take place from October 11th to 14th at the Santa Margarida Military Camp in Constância. October 15th is reserved for the closing and awards ceremonies.


Portugal Space
19 of June, 2024