StellarXplorers:National High School Space Challenge

StellarXplorers is a challenging, space system design competition involving all aspects of system development and operation with a spacecraft and payload focus.

Teams can come from any organized youth organization such as a high school (including home schools), JROTC, CAP, School Clubs, Boy/Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs. Teams consist of an adult Team Director (usually a teacher) and two to six students. We need to emphasize is YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A SPACE EXPERT to have a team. You only need to find students interested in learning about space. Participation is free until after teams have had the opportunity to compete for the first qualifying round. There is a nominal $200 registration fee for each team, with waivers available to Title I schools upon request.

How does it work?

StellarXplorers 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 with Qualification Rounds beginning in November that determine which teams advance to the Semi-Finals in February. The top 10 teams from the Semi-Finals will receive an all-expense-paid trip the National Finals.

How do you get started?

Go to the StellarXplorers Website at Register your team under the Registration Tab. You will not need to identify cadets until after the school year begins. Under the Competition Tab, click on STLX VI Starting Checklist. This gives a step-by-step for getting ready to field a team. Also, we are here to help, so do not hesitate to ask for assistance.

Benefits for Students

This is an exciting hands-on learning experience that develops commercially valuable skills and increases appreciation for the critical role of space in our daily lives. The competition attracts all types of students with diverse backgrounds who will establish their own experiential base off accomplishment, all while building teamwork and leadership skills. Most of all … it is FUN!!!

Benefits for Educators

Relevant and stimulating addition to your classroom with hands-on, real-world STEM applications that are widely embedded into your students’ lives.

Benefits for Sponsors

Offers the chance to “grow your own” future workforce! You’ll have access to a pipeline of talented individuals, interested your business, most U.S. citizens eligible for advanced clearances and uniquely positioned to be your interns and future employees. At the same time, you’ll boost US competitiveness and STEM education, while enhancing your visibility with customers and peers.

Questions? Contact us at