Join the IAF-CSA Space Universities CubeSat Challenge and win a free launch of a CubeSat!

“CubeSat, a platform for new Technology Verification and International Cooperation!”

The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and its Space University Administrative Committee (SUAC) in cooperation with the Chinese Society of Astronautics (CSA) and the Dalian University of Technology (DUT) are pleased to announce an exclusive competition for a Free Launch of a CubeSat operated by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.

We cordially invite all IAF Member Universities to participate for free in the IAF-CSA Space Universities CubeSat Challenge (IAF-CSA SUCC) and profit from this unique opportunity to win a free launch on the Long March or Smart Dragon Series Launcher. We also strongly encourage all other interested university teams who are not yet IAF Members to 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 a new IAF member at the upcoming IAC 2021.

By providing the opportunity of a free CubeSat Launch, IAF-CSA SUCC offers a platform for university students to present their creative ideas and gain attention internationally.
The design, development, and application of CubeSat is a systematic project, which integrates many research fields, such as mechanical and electrical engineering, telecommunications, electronics, control, materials etc. Its application covers industry, agriculture, environment, transportation and other fields.
With the theme “CubeSat, a platform for new technology verification and international cooperation” the IAF-CSA Space Universities CubeSat Challenge aims at:
  • fostering the innovative thinking of students around the world
  • improving the ability of astronautics innovative scientific research, the ability to combine theory with practice, the ability to solve practical engineering problems
  • contributing to the popularization of space knowledge and the support of innovative talents.

  • 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 that start the IAF Membership application process will qualify for the competition and will further be considered. Please refer to Become an IAF member ( to start the application process and learn more about the numerous benefits of becoming an IAF member.

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


The launcher will be Long March or Smart Dragon Series – the exact launcher depends on the CubeSat orbit and launch time requirement.


Applications must be submitted to  by 15 May 2021 and shall include the filled-in forms describing the team and project content. Applications from China may be submitted to

The application shall contain:

  •  information sheet.docx and work template.docx
  • Description of bidding organization and background experience with respect to CubeSats (if available);
  • Description of proposed CubeSat mission;
  • Description of available facilities (e.g. integration and test facilities, ground station);
  • Funding and readiness status;
  • For Non-IAF Member Universities, please send proof of IAF Membership application.
A joint IAF-CSA SUCC Selection Board will review the applications and select the winner who will be announced during IAC 2021 in Dubai.
Please note that this competition aims with priority at reaching out to Space University teams from emerging countries.
The schedule and timeline for IAF-CSA SUCC is as follows:
  • Registration/Application Submission Deadline: 15 May 2021
  • Evaluation of the application packages by June 2021
  • The winners will be announced during the International Astronautical Congress 2021
  • 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.

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.

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