The launch vehicle engineers of present day have access to a wealth of knowledge and tools spanning applications from computation to manufacturing that we could only dream of half a century ago. At Student Space Systems, or SSS, we believe that these advancements are powerful enough to put space access within the reach of universities around the world. Our goal is drastically reduce the difficulty of performing high altitude experimentation for research groups at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by providing reliable cost-of-fuel access beyond the Kármán line. In the process, we hope to inspire other universities to reach for the stars with their own space access programs.

Even with 21st century technology, developing space systems takes years of experience and wisdom. Vision 2020, our pathway to the edge of space, will guide us through key technological developments crucial for developing our future space vehicles:

  • 2014-2015

    • Commence flight operations above 10,000ft AGL

  • 2015-2016

    • Commence flight operations above 30,000ft AGL

    • Fly a custom designed metal-bodied rocket

    • Demonstrate live telemetry capabilities

    • Demonstrate hybrid propulsion system in excess of 10,000 Ns

  • 2016-2017:

    • Commence flight operations above 75,000ft MSL

    • Develop and fly hybrid propulsion system in excess of 75,000 Ns

    • Demonstrate liquid propulsion system in excess of 20,000 Ns

    • Develop and fly active stabilization technology

  • 2017-2019:

    • Commence flight operations of liquid propulsion systems

    • Demonstrate liquid propulsion system in excess of 150,000 Ns

  • 2020+:

    • Commence flight operations above 350,000ft MSL