NEW DEADLINE: November 4, 2019!!!!!

NANOSTAR is a European project to support the training and development of student nanosatellites in the south west of Europe.

This NANOSTAR challenge consists in predesigning a nanosatellite that will perform an ambitious scientific mission.

The goal of the mission is to verify the survivability in space of a marine photosymbiotic species of worms (Roscoff worms), which may one day play an essential role in the creation of artificial ecosystems for deep space exploration missions.

The scientific payload will monitor the metabolism of the worms and their efficiency for urea and air recycling via video observations and measurements.

Student teams must create a preliminary design of a complete space system to achieve this mission, using the tools and methodology provided by NANOSTAR.

How to participate

Students participate to the NANOSTAR challenges in teams. We encourage the participation of multidisciplinary, mixed teams of about 5 women and men. Students can participate with their university colleagues or form an international group that spans several NANOSTAR institutions.

Each team will be assigned an advisor who will be the point of contact with the NANOSTAR network. An Evaluation Committee, composed of members from all NANOSTAR institutions, will evaluate the received designs and select the winning proposal. The awarded design will be extended and serve as the baseline for the future NANOSTAR challenges, which will focus on the detailed development and testing of parts of a nanosatellite and related facilities.


All participating students will receive a Participation Diploma from NANOSTAR as proof of the work carried out in the Design Challenge.

Other awards, which may comprise economic and/or material prizes (e.g. attendance to an International Conference to present their work, or a visit to a space center), may be awarded to the First Team, and will be defined soon and announced on the NANOSTAR website.

  • Registration open: September 2, 2019 – November 4, 2019
  • Challenge start: September 2, 2019
  • Deliverable submission deadline: January 5, 2020
  • Evaluation period: January 6-24, 2020
  • Winner Announcement: January 30, 2020

NANOSTAR project

The nanosatellite standard is today used by many universities and companies to attract the best students and engineers, that supports the universities and industries competitiveness.

Several countries from the north of Europe have strongly invested in this approach, creating a commercial offer that has become very well positioned in the market. However, Southern Europe, despite its strong influence in the space sector, has only 14% of the projects in the European nanosatellite sector and no company created in this field.

The construction of a nanosatellite requires numerous tools and competences, which makes it an excellent training vector. However, it is necessary to have the appropriate experience, hence the need to work in a network and exchange experiences.

To support the emergence of such a dynamic environment in the south west of Europe, 7 universities and 2 aerospace clusters from France, Spain and Portugal have proposed a collaborative project to link their resources, plus 3 ESA-BIC (Business Incubation Centres of the European Space Agency) as associates.

NANOSTAR: a network of excellence among universities, the regional industry and the scientific ecosystem in order to create a leading platform in Europe on nanosatellites.

The challenge of the project is to provide students with the experience of a real space engineering process that includes all stages, from conception and specifications, to design, assembly, integration, testing and documentation. That is, the whole process through a network that combines high-level engineering careers and entrepreneurial ventures in the area of ​​nanosatellites.