Ridgeway Rocket Club, representing the UK, has been crowned champion of the International Rocketry Challenge 2023 after they competed in an international fly-off against teams from the US, Japan, and France at Paris Air Show.

The club, which is made up of three students from Ridgeway School, 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 850ft 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.

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.”

International Rocketry Challenge

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

Ben Bridge, Chairman of Airbus Defence and Space UK, commented, “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.”

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

Photo (left to right): Ridgeway Rocket Club champions Ben, John and Sanjay. Image credit: Andy Brice

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