• IAF-CSA Space Universities CubeSat Challenge
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  • CubeSat
    A platform for new technology verification and international cooperation.
  • International Platform
    For university students to show their ambition.
  • Space Challenge
    The combination of international astronautics education and industry.


CubeSat is a kind of low-cost nano-satellite developed by special design standards. So far, more than 1200 CubeSats have been launched around the world.

The design, development, and application of CubeSat is a systematic project, which integrates many research fields, such as machinery, communication, electronics, control, materials, and so on. Its application covers industry, agriculture, environment, transportation, and other fields.

The IAF-CSA Space Universities CubeSat Challenge (IAF-CSA SUCC) takes "CubeSat, a platform for new technology verification and international cooperation" as the theme of the challenge and aims to tap the innovative thinking of students at home and abroad. The aim is to improve the ability of astronautics innovative scientific research, the ability to combine theory with practice, the ability to solve practical engineering problems and to contribute to the popularization of astronautical knowledge and the cultivation of innovative talents.

The IAF-CSA SUCC will be established every two years. The IAF-CSA SUCC is open to IAF member universities, and other interested university teams who apply for IAF Membership. Based on such application, the IAF will provide this special offer to participate in this IAF-CSA SUCC competition even before being approved as new IAF member at the upcoming IAC 2021.

The final round of the IAF-CSA SUCC will be held during 72nd International Astronautical Congress, 2021.


  • IAF-CSA SUCC is open to all IAF Member Universities.
  • Participation and registration is free of charge.
  • Non-IAF Member Universities are strongly encouraged to apply for IAF Membership in order to be admitted to participate in the competition to win a free launch.
  • Universities who start the IAF Membership application process will qualify for the competition and will further be considered.
  • For Non-IAF Member Universities, please send proof of IAF Membership application.


The topics of the challenge are as follows:
  • Innovative CubeSat mission.
  • Design of new concept CubeSat platform and innovative subsystem.
  • Payload and applications of innovative CubeSat.
  • Innovative CubeSat deep space exploration mission and design (including Moon, Mars, asteroids, etc.)
  • Other new concepts or ideas of CubeSat.


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

In addition, the IAF will also 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 that enter the finals.

The free launch is operated by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. The launcher will be Long March / Smart Dragon Series (The exact launcher depends on the CubeSat orbit and launch time requirement)


Chen Guoying

Honorary Chair of the Board

Vice President of CASIC

Dr. Deganit Paikowsky

Honorary Chair of the Board

IAF Vice President for Diversity Initiatives and Science & Academic Relations

Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund

Honorary Chair of the Board

President of IAF

Prof. Wang Liheng

Honorary Chair of the Board

Honoray President of CSA

Prof. Wang Xiaojun

Honorary Chair of the Board

IAF Vice President for Societies and Museums

President of China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology

Prof. Otto Koudelka

Co-Chair of the Board

Chairman of SUAC

Prof. Yu Xiaozhou

Co-Chair of the Board

Vice Chairman of SUAC

Dr. Christian Feichtinger

Secretary General of the Board

Executive Director of IAF

Wang Yiran

Secretary General of the Board

Vice President and Secretary General of CSA



Start of SUCC

12 Oct 2020

October 20, 2020 - October 20, 2021



15 Dec 2020 - 15 May 2021

Applications from China submit to secretary@iafsucc.org,
Applications from other countries submit to  award@iafastro.org .
Ended by 15 May 2021 and shall include the filled in forms describing the team and project content:
information sheet.docx and work template.docx.


Preliminary review

1 Jun 2021 - 30 Jun 2021

Preliminary review:Online.


Final round and award ceremony

Final round:During 73nd IAC,2022, in Paris.

The Winning Team

# International group The Chinese group
First prize UVigo SpaceLab (University of Vigo) Deep Space pathfinder(Dalian University)
Second prize Dock-Sat (Stellenbosch University) Hover hunter (Beijing Institute of Technology)
Third prize DEMENTOR(University of Würzburg Plant-Capsule CubeSat


The SUCC endeavor to provide timely information and answers of your questions. If you are not able to locate the information you are seeking on our website, you may mail us at: