CubeQuest Challenge


The Cislunar Explorers are competing in NASA’s CubeQuest challenge! This competition is part of the Space Technology Mission Directorate, a broad effort to encourage development of novel spacecraft technologies. The CubeQuest has several components, with a total of $5 million in prizes between them:

  • Four Ground Tournaments, a series of increasingly rigorous design reviews from August 2015 to February 2017.
    • The three highest scoring spacecraft at the fourth Ground Tournament will be selected to launch on EM-1, NASA’s first launch of the Space Launch System and next test of the Orion spacecraft.
  • The Lunar Derby, a competition among selected spacecraft (and those that can secure their own, independent launches) to achieve and maintain lunar orbit for as long as possible.
  • The Deep Space Derby, a similar competition to escape Earth’s gravity as far as possible into deep space.

The Cislunar Explorers are being submitted for all four Ground Tournaments in the hopes of securing a berth on EM-1. After launch, we will compete in the Lunar Derby, with the goal of achieving and maintaining lunar orbit. See our spacecraft design for more about the Explorers that will pursue this mission.

We have achived success at all three of the Ground Tournaments so far, and the results of Ground Tournament 4 are soon be be released!

  • 3rd place at Ground Tournament 1, earning a $20,000 prize
  • 1st place at Ground Tournament 2, earning a $30,000 prize
  • 2nd place at Ground Tournament 3, earning a $30,000 prize