Entries are invited from students the world over, for Design for Space Challenge, 2016. Awards for top designs include cash prizes and virtual mentoring sessions with a judge: NASA astronaut, Yvonne Cagle; co-inventor of the CubeSat standard and CalPoly engineering professor, Jordi Puig-Suari; or Field Ready principle designer and co-founder, Dara Dotz. Designs may also be showcased at Autodesk conferences around the world.

Project Details

You have been hired by a space agency to assist in collecting Vanguard 1, an out-of-commission satellite launched in 1958. Your mission is to design a cube satellite using the CubeSat standard considering deployable components necessary to secure or de-orbit the Vanguard 1 as part of a salvage missing for posterity. It is up to you to determine the best way to secure the Vanguard 1 by designing components that will fit within the defined dimensions of a cube satellite and for transport in space. Remember, once the satellite deploys, components may need to expand beyond the confines of the defined CubeSat standard dimensions.

Worth of Award

  • Each participant receiving a prize is solely liable for the payment of all taxes, duties and other similar costs relating to receiving, claiming or collecting any prize. ?All judging decisions are final. The sum of the Awards is the total gross amount of the reward. The awarded participant is solely liable for the payment of all taxes, duties and other similar measures if imposed on the reward pursuant to the legislation of the country of his/her residence, domicile, citizenship, workplace, or any other criterion of similar nature. All judging decisions are final.
  • ?All Winners will be contacted by the Autodesk to collect student contact information and any other information needed to send the prize to a winner. Payment of cash awards is made through PayPal. ?Each winner must have or create a PayPal account (within 30 days after the announcement of the winners) to receive a cash prize. Only the person that entered the Competition will receive the prize. Prizes will not be awarded to any group.

Prizes are available for the top 10 entries as defined below and in the Official Rules.

1st Place Award Winners – Places 1, 2, 3

  • 1:1 mentoring with NASA astronaut, Yvonne Cagle (1st highest score)
  • 1:1 mentoring with Field Ready, principle designer, Dara Dotz (2nd highest score)
  • 1:1 mentoring with CubeSat co-inventor, Jordi Puig-Suari (3rd highest score)
  • $1,000 USD
  • Use of your design as an example part in Autodesk trade show and conference appearances
  • Your design featured on the Autodesk Design Academy website

2nd Place Award Winners – Places 4 and 5

  • $750 USD cash
  • Autodesk T-shirt
  • Your design featured on the Autodesk Design Academy website

3rd Place Award Winners – Places 6 and 7

  • $500 USD cash
  • Autodesk T-shirt
  • Your design featured on the Autodesk Design Academy website

4th Place Award Winners – Places 8, 9, and 10

  • $250 USD cash
  • Autodesk T-Shirt
  • Your design featured on the Autodesk Design Academy website


The Autodesk “Design for Space” Challenge is open to students who meet the requirements set forth in theOfficial Rules. A maximum of two entries are welcome.

 Students must be: 

  1. Between the ages of 18 – 24 years old
  2. Enrolled in an accredited Post-secondary academic institution and are legal resident of the following countries: Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovinia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Demark, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, UAE, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, or Zambia.

Submitting an Entry

  • Only entries uploaded to the Autodesk “Design for Space” Challenge gallery website through the “File Upload ” button on the challenge page will be considered an entry. Only public entries are eligible.
  • You are required to use Autodesk® Fusion 360™ for developing design entries.
  • Entries are automatically given the tag “designforspace” when uploading to the Autodesk “Design for Space” Challenge gallery website. Please do not edit or delete this tag. Only entries with valid tag will participate in the challenge.
  • Ensure your design meets all of the above requirements.
  • Add your design to the Autodesk® Fusion 360™ gallery marked with #designforspace by clicking on “Create New Project” on the Autodesk® Fusion 360™ Gallery.
  • Submit your final design to the “Design for Space” gallery. You must include your finished model
  • Please add [email protected] to your safe-sender list to ensure that updates reach you and email Autodesk with any questions.

How to Apply

Step 1: Download Autodesk® Fusion 360™ FREE access for students, educators, and academic institutions
Step 2: Check out Autodesk how-to videos, tips, and and online resources.
Step 3: Once you’re comfortable with Autodesk® Fusion 360™, decide how to design your cube satellite, and get to work!
Step 4: Post the design back to the “Design for Space” challenge gallery website for consideration by the panel of judges.

  • Share your idea with friends and family using #designforspace, and vote for your favorite designs!

Judging Criteria

Judges will select the finalists and winners based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation and Inventiveness (30%): How well does this new design “push the envelope” and enhance user experience?
  • Software skills (30%): How does the student designer demonstrate technical skills and quality of design submitted based on technical requirements?
  • Suitability to purpose (20%): How well does the design prove useful and suited to serving its purpose, providing a positive user experience?
  • Creativity (20%): How well does the entry reflect cleverness and originality of thought to support the challenge and add value?

Entering the “Design for Space” Challenge

To enter the Autodesk Design for Space Challenge click the “Continue” button on the “Welcome” page to register.


  1. The Autodesk “Design for Space” Challenge launches April 22, 2016 (11:59pm PT)
  2. Entry deadline is August 31, 2016 (11:59pm PT)
  3. Winners will be announced by September 21, 2016 (11:59pm PT)

Click here for more details and to apply

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