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.

2024 Competition Application Link

Launch is at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
June 2024
CanSat Video


Jan 30 - Updated scoresheet posted. Competition guide PDR due date corrected.

Jan 30 - PDR Calendar is posted here. Updated 1/30/2024

Jan 5 - One slide added to PDR template, page 36.

Oct 14 - Open Rocket Model of the Cansast rocket is now in the mission page

Sept 30 - Updated competition guide. Replaced word probe with Cansat. The cansat is the probe.

Sept 12 - Application portal is open.

Sept 1 - Updated mission guide to correct dates and add requirements M9 and M10 to clarify what can be done with the nose cone portion of the Cansat.

August 18 - Cansat 2023 Photos have finally been posted. It took a while to get them.

August 10 - Requirement M7 corrected. Rev A guide posted.

August 2 - 2024 competition guide and all documents have been posted. The score sheets have been created from scratch and launch operation scoring has changed.

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