design for space competition

Competition invites students to design 'satellite of the future'

The Design for Space competition tasks students with creating a cube satellite capable of bringing home the out-of-commission Vanguard 1. 

Autodesk, in partnership with Sqore, has launched a competition that asks students aged between 18-24 to design a cube satellite to assist in the collection of Vanguard 1, an out-of-commission satellite launched back in 1958. Entrants must determine the best way to secure or de-orbit Vanguard 1 and then create their design using Autodesk Fusion 360.

Cash prizes are up for grabs for the top designs, with winners also being given the opportunity to have one-to-one virtual mentoring with NASA astronaut Yvonne Cagle, CubeSat standard Co-Inventor and CalPoly Engineering Professor Jordi Puig-Suari or Field Ready Principle Designer and Co-Founder Dara Dotz.

“Judges will select winners based on several criteria: if the design pushes the envelope and enhances user experience, technical skill demonstrated and quality of design submitted, the degree to which the design is useful and suited to serving its purpose and the degree to which the entry reflects cleverness and originality of thought,” said Torie Anderson, Senior Manager of Strategic Partners and Initiatives of Autodesk Education Experiences.

Anderson then highlighted the benefits to those who take part.

“Students will gain access to a wealth of resources to build their proficiency, including Autodesk Fusion 360. Industry professionals and experts will engage students through webinars, videos and more to help them to understand the demand for these critical skills required to transition well to industry, which helps prepare them for their future careers,” she said.

The Design for Space challenge is the first of many tasks that Autodesk will be offering to post-secondary students through its Design for Industry program, an initiative aimed at connecting students with industry professionals to help the next generation of engineers, designers and architects gain real-life design skills. Students can download a free version of Fusion 360 at

The Design for Space submission deadline is 31 August 2016. To find out more, visit

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