About

What is the StellarXplorers National Space Design Competition?

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The StellarXplorers National Space Design Competition provides specific training in the use of system simulation software, Systems Tool Kit (STK), as well as an online textbook as a curriculum supplement and study resource for online “team” quizzes given during the competition. The actual competition is accomplished from the team’s home location. Teams are given a scenario describing the system’s mission and constraints and they provide a solution to a typical space design problem, such as orbit determination, satellite component selection, and launch vehicle planning.

Practice Rounds begin in October, and Qualification Rounds begin in November. Performances of teams during the Qualifying Rounds determine which teams advance to the Semi-Finals in February. The top 10 teams from the Semi-Finals receive an all-expense-paid trip to the National Finals.

Who We Are

OUR MISSION

Working in partnership with leaders in the U.S. space industry, space-focused academia, and government entities, the Air Force Association (AFA) developed the StellarXplorers Program to inspire students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers through an exciting space-focused competition.

OUR VISION

Through StellarXplorers, we are cultivating the leaders in STEM with strong moral character, leading the way to space and beyond.

OUR CORE VALUES

  • Integrity. The foundations of the competition are the honesty and ethics of all those involved in the program, especially in the absence of supervision.
  • Service. The spirit of the competition is dependent on the ethos of “service before self.” All adults must put competitor well-being and education ahead of their own in throughout all StellarXplorers-related activities.
  • Excellence. The competition pushes Competitors to achieve their best, both during and beyond their participation.

OUR PURPOSE

StellarXplorers welcomes those who are interested in space, no matter what level of experience, as a place to share thoughts, ideas, and experiences with others who share a similar passion for problem-solving, team collaboration, and space system design. StellarXplorers provides students with leadership opportunities and mentors other students in science, technology, engineering, math, and organization management. StellarXplorers gives members insight into the space industry and cultivates relationships between students and professionals.

ELIGIBILITY & EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

Team membership in StellarXplorers will not be restricted on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, experience, gender identity, gender expression, or sex. Any student at a participating school willing and eager to participate is qualified for membership.

History

In September 2014, the Secretary of the US Air Force office asked the Air Force Association (AFA) if they could develop a national space competition, similar to AFA’s first national cyber education competition, CyberPatriot. Bill Yucuis, an aerospace engineer with 12 years of experience coordinating an Aerospace Magnet Program, was tasked as the chair of a committee tasked with creating the program from scratch. Air Force retired space experts Tim Brock and Stephen Gourley, in addition to Buck Buckwalter, the primary AFA person responsible for developing CyberPatriot, came together to found StellarXplorers. For seven years, the program was entirely volunteer-run. As the program has expanded, the volunteers who got it started have left a tremendous legacy and one-of-a-kind space education and competition program to challenge students across the world.

Contact Us

Questions/comments related to general information, registration process?

You can email us at the following address:
info@stellarxplorers.org

Follow us on social media for regular updates about the program and related news!

AFA’s Aerospace Education Program

AFA believes in the power that students hold in securing our nation’s future. Yet, only 16 percent of American high school seniors are interested in careers in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). To equip our students with the knowledge and skills required for future innovation, we must increase the number of students and teachers in STEM fields.