The American Astronautical Society (AAS) has organized an annual student design-build-launch competition for space-related topics. Although similar competitions exist for other fields of engineering (robots, radio-control airplanes, racing cars, etc.), most space-related competitions are paper design competitions. While these are worthwhile, they do not give students the satisfaction of being involved with the end-to-end life cycle of a complex engineering project, from conceptual design, through integration and test, actual operation of the system and concluding with a post-mission summary and debrief. This competition fulfills that need!

This annual competition is open to teams from universities and colleges. Teams must be able to design and build a space-type system, following the approved competition guide, and then compete against each at the end of two semesters to determine the winners. Rockets will be provided but teams are responsible for funding the construction of their CanSat and all travel/lodging expenses.

Competition Application Link

Launch location is Blacksburg, VA
Virginia Tech
June 11-14, 2020


CanSat Video


March 25 - The June launch is cancelled. We will postpone CDR reviews to May 11. CDR documents will be due May 8 at 23:59:59. Details will be sent to the teams moving on to CDR.
Mar 11 - Top team selections posted on Team Page. Score sheets to be mailed out soon.
Jan 7 - We are officially at Virginia Tech.
Dec 23 - Minor correction to PDR template page 72.
Free CAD software from Siemens available by clicking on the logo on the main page.