Welcome to the MIT Satellite Team!

Interested in space exploration? Want to get involved in an awesome activity? Want to help build a satellite?

Join our University Nanosatellite Team!

The MIT Satellite team provides a unique, hands-on opportunity for students from a variety of years and majors to collaborate in a meaningful way for the purpose of advancing space technology. In the process of designing, building, and launching a series of pioneering satellites, MIT students will be trained to be industry leaders. Students will conduct system level analyses and trade studies, as well as come to understand the constraints and repercussions arising from operating in the space environment. Most importantly, MIT students will actually be launching technologically advanced satellites into space!

This program will set a new bar for student-built technology by demonstrating groundbreaking power and propulsion systems. Never before have student-built satellites demonstrated deployable, sun-tracking solar arrays or a propulsion system capable of reaching the Moon. This satellite program will advance the world-wide capabilities of student-built satellites and will pave the way for MIT to be at the forefront of space technology. Additionally, MIT is competing in the University Nanosatellite Program (UNP). The design for the satellite was begun through the classes 16.83, 16.831, and 16.832, but now anyone can get involved.

Current Design

The mission of the Cathode/Anode Satellite Thruster for Orbital Repositioning (CASTOR) is to pioneer low-cost, high delta-V Air Force missions by demonstrating the Diverging Cusped-Field Thruster (DCFT). To accomplish this goal with a limited budget and within the volume and mass constraints provided by the UNP program, the design is as simple as possible.

Time Commitment

MIT students are always busy, and as current students, we understand that. Therefore, this can be as little or as much a commitment as you want. In order to achieve the milestones laid out by the UNP program, however, you must be willing to work hard when required. If you are working for credit, we would expect at least 3 hours per week in order to get 3 units. More time is always preferred, as this is a difficult task for undergraduates to complete.


How many people do you know who have watched their handiwork launch into space? If we win the next step of the competition, we will get to launch our satellite into orbit aboard a rocket paid for by the Air Force. As part of the program, select students will have the opportunity to travel around the country for high-altitude balloon launches, presentations, etc. This is an excellent opportunity to enhance your resume, have fun, or just brag about the awesome activity you found at MIT!

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