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 University
June 11-14, 2020
CanSat Video


Oct 28 - Application due date is extended to Nov 15.
Sep 16 - We are working with Virginia Tech as our new location. We hope to have a formal agreement soon.
Sep 12 - Competition guide updated. Check requirement 11.
Sep 9 - Application portal is now open.
Aug 28 - Update to the Competition Guide.
Aug 27 - Registration will open next week. Deadline for registration is October 30.
Aug 27 - Progress is being made in finding a new location.