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.

2022 Competition Application Link

Launch is at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
June 9 - 12, 2022
CanSat Video


Oct 18 - Cansat mission guide updated. There is a change to the payload ID assignment due to how team IDs are now generated. Download the latest and check requirement 41.

Oct 8 - Launch site set at Blacksburg, VA

Oct 1 - Mission Guide appendix corrected.

Sep 10 - The application website is now operational.

Aug 24 - More competition documents posted including PDR and CDR templates. Competition guide updated with corrections.

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