The University of Nevada, Reno

Nevada Student Satellite Program

This program is generously supported by the Nevada Space Grant Consortium


NevadaSat is a program based at the University of Nevada, Reno, and operating throughout the University and Community College System of Nevada (UCCSN). The objective of this program is to expose students in Nevada to aerospace science and technology through hands-on experience and participation in a wide range of high-impact activities. At present, this is done through two programs (BalloonSats and CanSats). A third program (CubeSats) is presently being planned.

Program Overview

Students build payloads that are launched on high-altitude balloons, that ascend to the edge of space at an altitude of ~100,000 feet, while performing various student-implemented tasks (experiments). After recovery on the ground, students analyze the data they obtained and draw conclusions.

Students build soda can sized payloads that are launched aboard high-powered amateur rockets to altitudes of ~10,000 feet, where the payload is ejected to decend via parachute. Payloads perform various functions. Complementing this, students design and build autonomous and remote-controlled rover robots that venture out into the desert to find and recover the CanSats and return them to the control base.

When implemented, students will design and build a 1kg picosatellite to be launched into low earth orbit aboard a commercial launch vehicle (rocket). This program is currently in the planning stage.

Primary Participating Institutions