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 10, 2021
CanSat Video


Aug 31 - Registration is now open. All team members must be from the same university.

Aug 18 - CanSat 2021 will be held at Virginia Tech.

2021 Competiion guide has been posted with the PDR and CDR templates.
Environmental testing document template will be posted soon.

We plan to hold the launch in June 2021. If we cannot, we will provide instructions on how to demonstrate your CanSat remotely.

Free CAD software from Siemens available by clicking on the logo on the main page.