University Nanosatellite Program

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The University Nanosat Program is a satellite design and fabrication competition for universities. It is jointly administered by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the Space Development and Test Wing and the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate's Spacecraft Technology division.[1] NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center was involved from the program inception through Nanosat-3.

Previous winners of the competition were the University of Georgia Small Satellite Research Laboratory's MOCI Satellite,[2] Michigan Technological University's Oculus-ASR,[3] Cornell University's Cornell University Satellite (CUSat),[4] University of Texas at Austin's Formation Autonomy Spacecraft with Thrust, Relnav, Attitude, and Crosslink (FASTRAC) for Nanosat-3[5] and the joint 3 Corner Satellite (3CS) project by the University of Colorado at Boulder, Arizona State University and New Mexico State University for Nanosat-2.[6] As of February  2011, the 3CS spacecraft[7] and FASTRAC[8] have launched.

The program's objective is to train tomorrow's space professionals by providing a rigorous two year concept to flight-ready spacecraft competition for U. S. higher education institutions and to enable small satellite research and development (R&D), integration and flight test. Approximately 4500 college students and 27 institutions of higher learning have been involved in this unique experience since its inception in 1999.





  • December 2004 - Sparkie and Ralphie launch on the inaugural Delta-IV Heavy[14]


  • Summer 2006 - Nanosat-3 winner FASTRAC undergoes Integration and Test at AFRL
  • May 2010 - FASTRAC launches on a Minotaur IV


  • March 2006 - Nanosat-4 Flight Competition Review where CUSat named winner
  • March 2008 - CUSat delivered to AFRL


  • Jan 2009 - Nanosat-5 Flight Competition Review where DANDE named winner
  • Summer 2010 - DANDE expected to deliver to AFRL


  • Jan 2009 - Kickoff
  • Feb/Mar 2009 - Systems Concept Review
  • Apr/May 2009 - System Requirements Review
  • Summer 2009 - Student Hands On Training (SHOT) Workshop 1 in Boulder, CO
  • Aug 2009 - PDR at SmallSat Conference in Logan, UT
  • Jan/Feb 2010 - Sat Fab class at AFRL
  • Spring 2010 - Critical Design Review
  • Summer 2010 - Student Hands On Training (SHOT) Workshop 2 in Boulder, CO
  • Aug 2010 - PQR at SmallSat Conference in Logan, UT
  • Jan 2011 - Flight Competition Review

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ US Air Force. "University Nanosatellite Program". AFRL. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
  2. ^ "Student satellite team a step closer to space". 25 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Nanosat-6 Flight Competition Review winners announced and Nanosat-7 Competition begins". 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  4. ^ Staff Writers (2007-04-04). "Cornell University Chosen To Build Nanosat-4 Flight Experiment". Space Daily. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
  5. ^ Torres, Juliana (2005-01-21). "Students' satellites win right to space flight". The Daily Texan. Archived from the original on 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2008-07-13.
  6. ^ NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Three Corner Satellite". NASA. Archived from the original on 2001-06-05. Retrieved 2008-07-13.
  7. ^ Spires, Shelby G. (2004-12-11). "Delta IV readyfor liftoff today". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  8. ^ Munoz, Sebastian (2010-11-20). "FASTRAC Is In Orbit!". University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  9. ^ "University Nanosat Program". 2010-03-24. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  10. ^[dead link][user-generated source]
  11. ^ "Nanosat-6 Flight Competition Review winners announced and Nanosat-7 Competition begins". Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  12. ^ "UGA Satellite Team Closer to Space".
  13. ^ "UNP News & Events". Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  14. ^ "Delta 4-Heavy investigation identifies rocket's problem". Retrieved 2014-01-30.