Take the challenge to win up to $200!

No experience required. Get mentored by students who've honed their spacecraft-building skills. After three months, your spacecraft will be launched a thousand feet on a rocket! The spacecraft will record what it sees during flight and broadcast it to ground in real time. Each of the top three teams win a cash prize! It's your time to become a space engineer. Find a teammate and learn more.


How do I start?

Registration for the 2019 Spacecraft Competition registration in open. To join, come to our meetings every Wednesday from 6-7 in room 325 of the Engineering Building. Here are a few ways you can get ready for this year's challenge:

  1. Follow @byuspacecraft on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter.
  2. Sign up for the Spacecraft Club newsletter.
  3. Read the challege guide to learn how to start building your femtosat.

Can I really build a spacecraft in one semester?

Yes! You really can! We guide you and provide a lot of support.

Provided Support

  1. A starter design for part of your spacecraft
  2. Mentors who helped build BYU's first satellite or who have built their own femtosats
  3. Tutorials to teach you how to build a spacecraft
  4. Weekly meetups for design help and reviews

You won't regret the hard work you put in to learn and compete. You can learn anything.


How do I win the prizes?

Scoring depends on how well you transmit data, how well you stay on schedule, and how well you interpret your data and report your results.


How much work will it take?

We won't kid you, building a spacecraft, even a tiny one, forces you to learn a lot! Depending on your experience, you'll need to put in 2-3 hours per week to be successful. However, that investment will start you on the path of honing your spacecraft skills at BYU and applying them in the space industry.

When is the challenge?

The challenge starts now! Find a teammate, register, and get started. The competition is fast paced, with lots to learn and do. Your work culminates when your femtosat flies atop a rocket at the end of the semester and you report what your data teaches you about the rocket’s flight! 


What is a spacecraft?

Spacecraft are machines that do work as they travel in space. Your spacecraft will be a stamp-sized satellite, a femtosat, that measures its environment. Spacecraft consist of two parts: the payload and the bus. The payload does the work of the mission and the bus supports the payload. Your payload is a sensor that measures its environment. Your bus includes a tiny flight computer, a radio, an antenna, and a battery that transmits the sensor’s measurements to a radio on the ground.


2017 Spacecraft Competition

2017 was the Spacecraft Competition's inaugural year. About 20 teams participated throughout the semester. Building a femtosat takes a lot of work and 6 teams brought successful femtosats to the competition launch day in December.

2017 Winners

1st Place

Team Swag: Tyler Larsen

2nd Place

Space Macaroni: Jackson Smith, Jensen Katsche, Nikolai Wallin

3rd Place

BillWiTheScienceFi: Colby Weber, Katelyn Jensen


2017 Gallery