IAF-CSA Space Universities CubeSat Challenge

image credit: iafsucc.org

The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and its Space University Administrative Committee (SUAC), in participation with the Chinese Society of Astronautics (CSA) and the Dalian University of Technology (DUT), at this moment announce an exclusive contest for a Free Launch of a CubeSat operated by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT).


The plan, design, development, and use of CubeSat is an orderly undertaking, which incorporates many research fields, like machinery, communication, electronics, control, materials science, etc. Its application covers space industry, farming, climate, transportation, and other areas.


The IAF-CSA Space Universities CubeSat Challenge (IAF-CSA SUCC) takes “CubeSat, an avenue for technology verification and global collaboration” as the subject of the challenge and intends to tap the creative mind of students both home and abroad.


The objective is to improve the capacity of astronautics creative, scientific research, the power to merge theory with practice, solve viable designing issues and add to the advocacy of astronautical information and development of inventive talents.


The IAF-CSA SUCC will be set up at a regular interval of two years. The IAF-CSA SUCC is available to IAF member universities and other interested university groups who apply for IAF Membership. Based on such application, the IAF will issue a unique proposal to participate in the IAF-CSA SUCC competition before being confirmed as a new IAF member at the forthcoming IAC 2021.



  1. IAF-CSA SUCC is open to all IAF Member Universities
  2. Participation and registration is free of charge
  3. Non-IAF Member Universities are strongly encouraged to apply for IAF Membership to participate in the competition to win a free launch.
  4. Universities that start the IAF Membership application process will qualify for the competition and will further be considered.
  5. Please check how to Become an IAF member to start the application process and learn more about the numerous benefits of becoming an IAF member.



The topic of the challenge are as follows:

  1. Innovative CubeSat mission
  2. Design of new concept CubeSat platforms and innovative subsystems
  3. Payload and applications of innovative CubeSats
  4. Innovative CubeSat deep space exploration mission and design (including Moon, Mars, asteroids, etc.)
  5. Other new concepts or ideas about CubeSats



Application forms must be submitted to award@iafastro.org by 15 June 2021 and must clearly outline team and project content. Applications from China may be sent to secretary@iafsucc.org.

The application must contain:

  1. information sheet.docx and work template.docx
  2. Description of bidding organisation and background experience concerning CubeSats (if available);
  3. Description of proposed CubeSat mission;
  4. Description of available facilities (e.g. integration and test facilities, ground station);
  5. For Non-IAF Member Universities, please send proof of IAF Membership application.
  6. Funding and readiness status


The schedule and timeline for IAF-CSA SUCC are as follows:

  1. Registration/Application Submission Deadline: 15 June 2021
  2. Evaluation of the application packages in June 2021
  3. The winners will be announced during the International Astronautical Congress 2021
  4. Tentative Launch: 2022


The winning team will win a 1~3U CubeSat free launch opportunity into Low-Earth Orbit, including a 1~3U CubeSat deployer.


The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology operates the free launch. The launcher will either be Long March or Smart Dragon Series, and the specific launcher relies upon the CubeSat orbit and launch time requirement.


Also, the IAF will waive the registration fee for one student for each team in the final round to participate in International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2021, and a special booth will be set up for free promotion and exhibition for all winning teams in the final.


To find out more about this challenge, kindly visit www.iafsucc.org. 


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