CubeSat Competition for High School Students

News from the Museum of Science Fiction:

The Museum of Science Fiction, the world’s first comprehensive science fiction museum, in partnership with NASA and Cornell University, is excited to announce a global CubeSat competition for high school students with the winning proposals to be built and put on orbit by a future NASA mission.  Students will have until January 31, 2016 to submit their proposals. The winners will be announced on April 15, 2016 with an award ceremony at Escape Velocity in Washington, DC on July 2, 2016.

“In space, small is beautiful. Micro-spacecraft will help open the solar system to exploration by small groups, universities, and regular human beings,” remarked David Brin, author of The PostmanEarth, and Existence and member of the Museum of Science Fiction’s Board of Advisors.

CubeSats are small, grapefruit-size spacecraft that use commercially available space technologies and simple logistics for launch and operation. CubeSats usually have a volume of about one liter (a 10 cm cube) and a mass of no more than 1.33 kilograms. While launch services can be purchased from private companies such as XCOR and Nanoracks Inc., NASA offers free launch services through its CubeSat Launch Initiative for educational projects such as the Museum’s competition.

“The core of the Museum of Science Fiction’s mission is education, particularly in the STEM fields,” said Mason Peck, member of the Museum of Science Fiction’s Board of Advisors, Associate Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University, and the Director of Cornell’s Space Systems Design Studio. “Advances in low-cost, high-performance consumer electronics and the rise of Do-It-Yourself technologies bring launching a spacecraft within reach of all of us. With this new opportunity in mind, we propose a competition in which high school students compete to offer the most compelling concept for a new CubeSat, to be implemented, built, and launched by the Museum and its partners.”

Each winning high school team will be paired with a university capable of creating the technology to realize their science fiction visions. Participating universities include: Cornell University, Oregon State University, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the University of Idaho, the University of Kentucky, the University of Vermont, and Arizona State University.

For a full list of contest rules and eligibility requirements, please visit:

More information about this and other activities are available here: