Phase 1: Mission design

Mission proposal

Schools will identify a CTE teacher or CTE coordinator as the team lead, obtain permission from the school principal or administrator, and complete and submit their mission proposals — no in-person collaboration required. The mission proposal includes a description of objectives, materials needed, plans for prototyping, proposed flight method, and team profile.  

The deadline for mission proposals was 5:59 p.m. ET on Friday, October 16, 2020. 

Schools that submit mission proposals will receive downloadable certificates, and eligible schools will be featured on the challenge website.

Note: Teams must complete mission proposals during Phase 1 to be considered for Phase 2.

Phase 2: Mission build and launch

Flight report

Finalists will complete and submit flight reports, which include a detailed description of the flight experience, results, lessons learned, flight data, visual documentation (photographs and/or videos), a flight event planning checklist, a description of the functional CubeSat prototype, a description of other devices and equipment required for the selected flight method, and a project budget.



A school must be eligible to receive funding under the Carl D. Perkins Act to participate in this challenge. Read more about eligibility.

A mission proposal must identify a team lead who is a CTE teacher or CTE coordinator employed by the submitting team’s school and over 18 years of age. A school may collaborate with another school or schools on a mission proposal; however, the mission proposal must identify one team lead from one lead school.

A mission proposal must include an email stating permission to participate from the team lead’s school principal or a district-level administrator. Examples of a district-level administrator include the superintendent, assistant superintendent, curriculum development coordinator, or district CTE coordinator. 


First-timers are welcome. No prior experience or knowledge of CubeSats is required to participate. In fact, this challenge hopes to inspire new teachers and students to explore and connect these skills to CTE.

Teams may consist of any mix of student grade levels and subjects — from engineering and computer science to business and art.

Phases will be self-paced, but teams are encouraged to collaborate regularly (once or twice per week, during or after school). Throughout these phases, teachers should expect to commit about 4-5 hours each week, and students should expect to do some project work outside of scheduled meetings.

No material purchases are required to develop a mission proposal, but it can be helpful for teams to tinker with low-cost instruments and materials, such as computer boards, lightweight cameras, or balloon kits, as they consider what to study and how to fly their missions. The resource hub will share more ideas and information in Phases 1 and 2.


The deadline for mission proposals was 5:59 p.m. ET on Friday, October 16, 2020.

Stay updated by signing up for the CTE Mission: CubeSat newsletter.