The UK Youth Rocketry Challenge (UK ROC) has launched for 2023 with formal registration now open.

ADS, the UK trade organisation representing the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors, is encouraging 11-18-year-olds from any school, college, or educational facility to register for next year’s competition.

UK ROC is a national competition for young people aged 11-18 from any secondary school, college, educational facility, or youth group to design, build and launch a model rocket. Registrations for the UK’s largest youth rocketry competition officially close on the 24 February 2023.


In early April 2023, the teams will compete against other teams in their region for a place in the national finals held in May 2023 to be crowned National Champions.

The National Champions will win an all-expenses paid trip to Paris, to represent the UK in a fly-off against international teams from the USA, Japan, and France at the Paris Airshow in June 2023.

UK ROC involves the design, build, and launch of a model rocket, with the payload of one raw egg representing the astronaut.


To win, the rocket must get closest to at least 850 feet in altitude within a goal timeframe of 42-45 seconds and the ‘astronaut’ must remain intact throughout the launch and landing.

Rules governing the competition are altered each year to encourage innovative thinking amongst participants and ensures previous designs can’t be repeated.

Participants of the competition also benefit from support from ADS Members, expert rocketeers and the events team.

Workforce of the future

Commenting on the challenge, ADS Chief Executive, Kevin Craven said: “In 2022, the International Rocketry Challenge returned during Farnborough International Airshow, and it was a pleasure to meet the UK National Champions and watch them compete against the US, France, and Japan.

“With the support of our sectors, UK ROC is growing each year as a very important STEM outreach activity.

“For the 2023 competition, I want to see more teams compete, more teams put their skills to the test, and more 11-18-year-olds grow their and fascination in aerospace, defence, security and space and become part of the workforce of the future. We need them.”
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