in Space / Events

Ridgeway Rocket Club wins International Rocketry Challenge

Posted 3 July 2023

Three students from Ridgeway School in Swindon were crowned champions of the International Rocketry Challenge 2023 after they competed in an international fly-off against teams from the US, Japan and France at the Paris Airshow.

Image courtesy ADS

To be crowned champions, Ridgeway Rocket Club met the stringent 2023 mission requirements which required each team to design, build and launch a model rocket with the fragile payload of one raw egg. Following launch, the rocket had to reach at least 850 feet within a time parameter of 42 – 45 seconds and return the payload to ground, un-broken.

As part of the international final, the team also presented their logbook and experience of the challenge to a judging panel which included photos from their onboard rocket camera.

ADS Chief Executive, Kevin Craven said: “I am absolutely thrilled to see Ridgeway Rocket Club win the International Rocketry Challenge at Paris Airshow. The team have done an outstanding job representing the UK and it’s been fantastic watching the progress they have made throughout the competition.

“The UK Rocketry and International Rocketry Challenges continue to be a fantastic example of how industry can support and encourage young people into exciting STEM hobbies and inspire them into a career in our industries. Ridgeway Rocket Club’s skills for their age are remarkable and I congratulate all of them on making it to the international finals and thank all the international teams for taking part.”

Ben Bridge, Chairman of Airbus Defence and Space UK said:  “Huge congratulations to Ridgeway Rocket Club at this year's International Finals. It has been a real pleasure sponsoring this event right from the very beginning and seeing so many innovative young people demonstrate such talent. Airbus is delighted to invest in STEM activities such as this, which are crucial to develop the next generation for our vibrant UK space industry.”

Andy Brice, Ridgeway Rocket Club, said: "The team have put in an enormous amount of work and we’re so proud of our International Champions! Their winning flight was excellent, and they scored 58 out of a possible 60 for their technical presentation. Thank you to ADS, Airbus and everyone who made it happen. The experience for the team has been amazing. I hope to see lots of teams entering UKROC 2024.”

Ridgeway Rocket Club secured a win for the UK in the International Rocketry Challenge for the first time since 2019. The Valentina Team from France came second, Sapporo Asahigaoka High school team from Japan came third and the AeroHAWKS team from the United States finished in fourth place.

The UKROC and the International Rocketry Challenge are supported by industry and the 2023 sponsor for the international final were Airbus Defence and Space.

Rules governing the International Rocketry Challenge final are altered each year to encourage innovative thinking amongst participants and ensure previous designs cannot be repeated.



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