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National CanSat competition finals, 3-4 April, Timisoara

on 01 April 2015

Between 3-4 April, in Timisoara, ESERO Romania (the European Space Education Resource Office) is organising the finals of the first National CanSat Competition dedicated to students older than 14 years. The eight cansats of the finalist teams will be launched at the height of 1 km to land using a parachute. The winning team of the National competition will qualify directly to the finals of the European CanSat competition, which will be organised by the European Space Agency (ESA) near Lisbon, Portugal, from 25 to 28 June 2015.

The challenge for students is to include all the major subsystems of a satellite — such as power supply and communications — in a CanSat, a simulation of a satellite integrated in the volume and shape of a soft drink standard dose.

The eight finalist teams were selected by ESERO Romania in collaboration with the Education Department of the European Space Agency (ESA) based on the quality of the proposals, from the 21 teams which entered the first phase of the competition. These are:

  • Team Nexus Suceava, from Petru Rareş National College and Ştefan cel Mare National College - Suceava, coordinated by Prof. Şutac Victor
  • Team TOMIS, from Mircea cel Bătrân National College - Constanța, coordinated by Prof. Băraru Ion
  • Team Rocket Engineers, from Ienăchiță Văcărescu National College of Târgovişte, coordinated by Prof. Gabriel State
  • Team Astrobotica Spirit 001 from Astrobotic Club and Carol I National College, team led by Prof. Georgescu Octavian
  • Team LGM SAT ONE from Grigore Moisil High School, Timişoara, coordinated by Prof. Cucu Dorina
  • Team Pegas from Nicolae Bălcescu High School and Lucian Blaga High School, Cluj-Napoca, coordinated by Prof. Gavril Tecar and Bâlc Vasile
  • Team SzMK CanSat, from Székely Mikó High School, Sfântu Gheorghe, coordinated by Prof. Pető Mária
  • Team INGENIUM from Tudor Vianu National High school of Computer Science, Bucharest, team coordinated by prof. Ioana Stoica.

The launch of the CanSats will take place at the Timisoara Utility Airport (Cioca Aerodrome) from a height of 1000 meters using a motor deltaplane during the morning of Friday (between 1000-1200) or, if the weather conditions are not favorable that day, during the next day (Saturday, between 1000-1200).

The primary mission is the same for all the participating teams: to built a CanSat able to measure the air temperature and air pressure as it falls back to Earth after the launch. The data must be transmitted by the CanSat at least once every second so that the team can analyse it and display it on a graph.

The secondary mission was chosen by each participating team according to their preferences. For example, it could be the measurement of more advanced parameters, such as acceleration, GPS location or surrounding radiation levels, or it could be to perform a landing using a control mechanism to come down as close as possible to a target.

The winning team of the CanSat national competition will directly qualify to the finals of the European CanSat competition, which will be organised by the European Space Agency (ESA) near Lisboa, Portugal, during 25-28 June 2015.

The National CanSat competition is organised this year for the first time by ESERO Romania — a project of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) and ESA — and is supported by the County Council of Timis,Timisoara Utility Airport, "ASALT" Sport Club, Timisoara West University, Timişoara Polytechnic University, CD Loga National College - Timisoara, Banat National College - Timisoara and Timis County School Inspectorate.

More details are available on the official website of ESERO Romaniaa and on website.

ESERO is a project initiated by ESA in order to use the fascination provided by the space field to encourage the teaching and learning of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) in primary and secondary schools in Europe. Through this center, the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) want to meet the specific educational needs of Romania, so that younger generations are encouraged to careers in STEM fields.